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L SKETCHES 




FROM 




THE EARLIEST RECORDS TO THE FENIAN MOVEMENT. 



BY 



DENIS CAROLAN RUS'HE, 

B.A., F.K.S.A. (IREL.) 



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15 Wellington Quay. 

1895. 



LOAN STACK 



PREFACE. 






WAiaJ 



The following pages are a collection of essays 
and papers, written from time to time by the 
Author, under the following circumstances : — 

In the winter of 1891, the Rev. Father George 
M'Meel, then Administrator of Monaghan, urged 
on the members of the Monas;han Parish Branch 
of the Irish National Federation, of which he was 
President, to get up some literary entertainment 
with which to conclude the meetings, after the 
usual social and political business had been 
disposed of. The chapter, "Old MonaghaD, 1 ' in 
this book, was the first step taken at the branch 
towards carrying out Father M'Meel' s suggestion. 
Most of the other papers were read at intervals 
before the Branch, and a few of them have 
already appeared in the Peoples Advocate and 
the Weekly Freeman. 

When many of these pages had been read, the 
late Most Rev. Dr. Donnelly, Lord Bishop of 
Clogher, spoke to the writer about the propriety 
of writing a history of the town of Monaghan. 
The writer had neither the ability at command 

311 



Vlll PREFACE. 

nor time at disposal to enable him to accomplish 
the work, but he agreed to collect the papers 
already written, and after adding a few more 
facts to publish them, and with the permission 
of the late Bishop, to have dedicated the book to 
him. 

But on the 29th December, 1893, God called 
the eighty-ninth Bishop of Clogher to his eternal 
reward. The writer cannot pass unnoticed the 
magnificent career which closed on that day. 

Dr. Donnelly was born in the next parish to 
Monaghan (Tydavnet), while the 19th century 
was yet in its youth, of a respectable and 
religious Catholic family. He was educated at 
the old school of Uribleshanny, and then by a 
local classical teacher. He had a long and 
brilliant course in Maynooth College, and after 
his ordination he was in succession curate of 
Killanny parish, first Professor in St. Macartin's 
Seminary, after its opening; Professor of the 
Irish College, Paris ; collector for some years in 
the United States for the founding of the Catholic 
University of Ireland ; Parish Priest of Rosslea, 
and Bishop of Clogher, which latter position he 
held for twenty-six years. 

His labours were gigantic, and such as no 
ordinary man could attempt. The Schools, 
Convents and Churches throughout his diocese, 
the Sanctuary of Lough Derg, and the Cathedral 



PREFACE. IX 



of St. Macartin, Monaghan — all attest to the 
energy and assiduity of Dr. Donnelly. 

He was a man of tremendous industry, and 
those who knew him best knew that he never 
idled for a single day. He was a great student, 
and studied up to his very death. He never 
began a subject that he did not master before he 
left it off. Bills or Acts of Parliament, or social 
or political schemes were never laid out of his 
hand until he had got such a grasp of their 
contents as would put their authors to the blush. 
He was blessed with great abilities, and as a 
result of his life was a good general scholar, 
having thorough knowledge of most subjects. 

His motto was Pro Deo et Patria, and never 
was a motto so well lived up to by its bearer. 
In all acts of his life he seemed to have no other 
object than the glory of his Church and the 
elevation of his country. He dearly loved both 
one and the other. He was a great churchman 
and a true patriot ; and between the lines of 
every page he wrote, both one and the other may 
be easily read. 

It is to be hoped that some one will soon arise 
who will write his biography ; but no one should 
touch it who does not fully appreciate his 
character, and who cannot sympathetically enter 
into his life struggles. la the Blue Books of 
Parliament there is a correspondence published 



X PREFACE. 



in which he took the principal part in defending 
the rights of his Catholic people to freedom of 
education. This controversy was carried on with 
a bigoted tyrant, and shows the tremendous grasp 
and ability the late Bishop had of the subject, 
and how easily he could dispose of a foe to his 
religion and his people. 

The income he worked so hard to earn was 
spent as he made it, on the advancement of 
charitable, religious, and educational institutions 
in his diocese, and elsewhere throughout Ireland ; 
while no really patriotic object ever was known 
to pass unassisted by his generous subscription. 
His largest subscriptions bore the stamp of true 
religious charity — for they were always given 
privately. His extraordinary sacrifices in the 
cause of education were revealed to the public 
by his examination before the Endowed School 
Commission, where he admitted that he had 
subsidised St. Macartin's Seminary to the extent 
of £5,000 ! 

The greatest work of his life was the erection 
of St. Macartin's Cathedral at Monagfhan. This 
magnificent structure is not surpassed by any 
church in Ireland, or probably in England. The 
symmetry of the whole house and the beauty 
of its details render it the most complete 
ecclesiastical building in the countrv. One 
distinguished personage on visiting it declared 



PREFACE. XI 

that the Bishop must have dreamed it or else 
have been inspired ; while another (a writer) 
described it as a " dream of beauty ." Few are 
found in a generation who so easily preserve the 
dignity of a great position, while being possessed 
of the most sincere and practical humility. 

During the early seventies, when our late 
Bishop was engaged in several of the struggles 
with the bigoted oppressors of his people, a 
young priest, who had previously been a 
professor of St. Macartin's College, came as 
Administrator to Monaghan, and ably assisted 
Dr. Donnelly with such ability, patriotism, and 
single-mind edness, as marked him out a " coming 
man." This gentleman, the Most Kev. Kichard 
Owens, D.D., has been recently consecrated 
successor of Dr. Donnelly ; and with Dr. Owens' 
permission the Author dedicates this work to 
the present Bishop of Clogher. There is no one 
to whom the Author would prefer to dedicate 
this little book, after Dr. Donnelly, than to the 
present occupant of the See of Clogher, who 
has been elected by the priests, and chosen by the 
Pope, to be successor of our dear dead Bishop, 
the Most Rev. James Donnelly, D.D. 

Far-Meehul, Monaghan, 
September, 1894. 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 



INTRODUCTION. 

Only one book dealing with the History of this 
County has ever been written, to the Author's know- 
ledge, that compiled by an Anglo-Irish Landlord, the 
late Mr. Shirley. It is said, that an old history of 
Monaghan still exists, written by a Mr. Mitchell, but 
no one in this neighbourhood appears to possess a copy 
of it, nor can a copy be found in any library with which 
the Author is acquainted. There is, however, another 
book dealing with portion of our recent history, written 
by an Irish Land Agent, Trench's " Realities of Irish 
Life." 

Shirley's is a really great and valuable work, most of 
the information which it contains having been supplied 
by Dr. O'Donovan and Professor O'Curry. The Author, 
who is more of an Englishman than an Irishman, 
protests loudly his impartiality, and proclaims to his 
readers the disinterested position he holds in dealing 
with the history of this County. But Mr. Shirley was 
possessed of nearly all the bad qualities of our Irish 
shoneen, and at every opportunity the blackest hostility 
and vilest partiality makes its appearance throughout the 
pages of his voluminous book ; and the only impression 
which any fair-minded man would have, after reading 
the book is, that the author was filled with hatred of 
the Irish country and the Irish people. It is very 
amusing to see his efforts to make pedigrees for our 
local snobocracy, and to turn the present landlords of 
the county into gentlemen of ancient families. 

A 



2 INTRODUCTION. 

As to Mr. Trench's book, it was written as a sen- 
sational speculation, full of all the absurd fictions, which, 
at the time of its publication, commanded the best price 
in the English market. The Very Rev. Archdeacon 
Smollen, now P.P. of Enniskillen, and at the time of 
the publication of the book, Parish Priest of Donagh- 
moyne, wrote a number of able letters in the " Dundalk 
Democrat," completely overturning most of Trench's 
fallacies, and convicted him of the grossest exaggera- 
tions ; while the late Isaac Butt wrote and published a 
trenchant letter which convicted Mr. Trench of un- 
truthfulness. 

Both Messrs. Shirley and Trench have written of the 
Irish people who inhabit the County Monaghan, from 
the standpoint of the English colonist in Ireland, filled 
with hatred towards us, while the Author of these 
pages writes as an Irishman who loves his country and 
his people. 

The writer makes no apology for writing of a portion 
of Ireland as an Irishman, and of declaring his intention 
of so doing. If he stated otherwise, he would be sail- 
ing under false colours, and would thereby imitate the 
mode of proceeding of the majority of anti-Irish writers, 
both in England and Ireland, who, though never tired of 
asserting their disinterestedness and impartiality, seldom 
lose an opportunity of vilifying our country and our 
people. 

Most of the information contained in the following 
pages has been collected from a variety of sources, from 
books already published, parliamentary blue books, old 
newspapers, journals, State papers, and county and 
national records, never before given to the public, and 
some private correspondence. 

The Author has abstained from attacking the 
historical (?) structures set up by Mr. Shirley on weak 
foundations, or his attempt to create ancestors for the 
shoneens and snobs of this county, for he considered it 
no part of his present work. Nor has he the space to 
deal as fully with Mr. Shirley as he should. 



INTRODUCTION. 3 

A good many omissions and some errors may be found 
in this Edition, but as the several chapters of it were 
written at different times in a country town, without 
access to a library of any importance, and as a large 
quantity of its contents has never before seen the light, 
the writer will be excused for his want of perfection in 
his first attempt in this sphere. Again, the Author 
performed this work during hours stolen from recreation, 
from professional engagements, and even from sleep. 
Still he feels proud and happy at having rescued from 
obscurity the many historical facts which, in another 
generation, would have been lost and forgotten, and 
that for the first time — 

" Many a deed may wake in praise, 
That long hath slept in blame." 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 



CHAPTER I. 

OLD MONAGHAN. 

It often happens that many persons who are well 
acquainted with the history of their country have little 
knowledge of the story of the immediate locality to 
which they belong, and this is remarkably so in our 
native town of Monaghan, where few materials are avail- 
able for the compilement of our local history. And 
when at a recent meeting of the Monaghan Parish 
Branch of the Irish National Federation the writer was 
called upon for a paper to be read before the Branch, 
he thought the best subject he could treat was one 
which would give a general idea of our ancient town 
and its surroundings. The hurried manner in which 
these few notes have been jotted down between hours of 
business will be the writer's excuse for the many blots 
and omissions which may be found amongst the follow- 
ing pages. 

In ancient times, before the " Saxon set his foot" on 
the sod of our native land, the district of country now 
occupied by the County of Monaghan, was then called 
West Oirgial (or Oriel), and the parish now called 
Monaghan was called Rackwallace. Near the shore of 
a small lake from which our barony took its name, 
Lough Tigh, a certain saint called Maclodius or Malodius 
founded an Abbey sometime about the 6th century. 
A small village grew up around its gates called Muinea- 
chan, which, according to some authorities, means the 
"Town of the Monks," and according to others a place 
surrounded by little hills. Very little is recorded of 
the abbey or village from the 8th to the 15th century, 
except the election or death of its learned abbots or 
pious monks, and the plundering of the abbey by the 
Danes. About 1350 two branches of the M'Mahon 
family quarrelled, and the Chief of Muineachan, Bryan 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 5 

M'Hugh M'Mahon was expelled from Rath - Tulad, 
(now called Tullyforth), where the family had lived 
up to then. The Irish restored the abbey and town 
after the overthrow of the Danes. 

In 1417 Lord Furnival, at the head of the English 
army, crossed the Pale and devastated the whole of 
Oirgial, burned all the " towns and corn," and killed 
aud wounded a great multitude of people, and carried 
off all the cattle they could catch. In this raid the 
town and abbey of Muineachan were again burned. 
While private quarrels distracted the Irish Chiefs, the 
old abbey and village of Muineachan appear to have 
been completely dismantled and deserted. During 
these troubled times, when war laid in ruins many a 
home, the M'Mahons, chiefs of Oirgial, for protection and 
safety, built a small house in the island of the lake of 
Muineachan, from which the lake and barony took its 
name of Lough Tigh (the Lake of the house); and in the 
year 1442, The M'Mahon of Oirgial, whose Christian 
name was Phelim (the son of Bryan, the son of Ardgal), 
restored the monastery and placed in it Friars Minor 
(Franciscans) instead of the Canons Regular of the 
Order of St. Augustine, who formerly occupied the 
ancient abbey. 

For many years an old quarrel lay smouldering 
between the people of Lough Tigh and the people of 
Dartrev. In 1496 The M'Mahon, or over lord of all West 
Oirgial, was the Chief of the clans of Dartrey, and had 
his castle and principal town near where Rockcorry now 
stands. His name was Hugh Ogue M'Mahon (the son 
of Hugh Roe, son of Rorey). In the above year his 
two sons, Gilla Patrick and Rorey, accompanied by 16 
scollogs (farmers), came by night into Muineachan and 
killed Glushuiagh M'Redmond M'Rory M'Mahon of 
Lough Tigh in his own house. They took as a hostage 
a youth named Rossa M'Mahon, son of Manus, son of 
Hugh Roe. This murder was the cause of a serious 
war, which kept Oirgial in trouble and sorrow for many 
years. In those times, and down from the first English 



6 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

invasion, the result of war was for the conquerors to 
lay waste the lands of the conquered, to carry off all 
their portable property, and burn and destroy all they 
could not carry away. 

Glushuiagh's brother Bryan and his sons collected 
their whole clans and marched into Dartrey, and 
attacked M'Mahon's town and castle, which they took 
and burned, and carried off some prey, though an equal 
number were killed on both sides, and the Lough Tigh 
men had to retreat to their own territory. O'Hanlon 
of East Oirgial (now Armagh) joined Bryan and made 
another attack on the Dartrey clans. The battle was 
fought near the partially restored town of M'Mahon, 
and the Dartrey men were again routed ; Gilla Phadruig, 
the murderer of Glushuiagh, was killed, and his father 
Hugh Ogue (The M'Mahon), tied into Brefney and per- 
suaded O'Reilly to espouse his cause, while the rest of 
the warriors of his clan fled to Farney, where the 
whole Farney clans rose to their assistance. 

The English of the Pale, finding now that a great war 
was raging so near their borders, and seeing an oppor- 
tunity of getting a foothold in Ulster, at once took sides 
with the wrongdoers, and sent an army to assist Hugh 
Ogue, the Farney M'Mahons, and the O'Reillys of Brefney. 
The clans of Lough Tigh, Trough, Cremorne, and the 
O'Hanlons were now sorely pressed ; one-half of their 
army were trying to keep the Farney men and the 
English at bay along the Aughnamullen Hills, while the 
other half were fighting O'Reilly on the borders of 
Dartrey. 

O'Donnell of Tirconnell, who was then the principal 
chief of Ulster, coming to know of the English crossing the 
Pale, and dreading the effect of an English settlement 
in Ulster, marched at the head of a large army to the 
aid of the Oirgiallians. His first move was to crush 
O'Reilly on his flank, and then turn and face the English. 
This he accomplished by leaving the half of the Oirgial- 
lians where they were in Aughnamullen, and joining 
the other half and attacking O'Reilly and Hugh Ogue 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 7 

M'Mahon. A couple of successful skirmishes brought the 
Tirconnellians and the Oirgiallians into the Territory of 
Brefney, where a short but desperate battle was fought, 
iu which the Brefneians were completely crushed. The 
usual result followed, and all East Brefney, from Dartrey 
border to Cavan town, was devastated, and the town 
itself was taken after a short resistance and razed to 
the ground. 

The victorious army, after having got rid of this 
troublesome foe from their flank, proceeded towards 
Farney, which they entered south of Ballytrain ; the 
English and the Farney men at once faced the Tir- 
connellians and Oirgiallians, and while the battle raged, 
the other half of the Oirgiallians, who had been holding 
the English in check, and who followed them up suddenly, 
came on the right flank of the foe, and a great victory 
was gained for Ulster. The English and some of the 
Farney and Dartrey clans retreated across the Pale. 
They threw garrisons into all the castles and fortresses of 
the Pale, to keep the Ulster men at bay, while another 
English army was collected from Dublin, Meath, and 
Louth. The Ulster army now grew to great proportions, 
being joined by most of the minor clans of Farney and 
Dartrey, in addition to the rest of East and West Oirgial, 
part of Brefney, and O'Donnell's army from Tirconnell. 
All the fortresses were forthwith attacked and taken in 
a wondrous short time, and the Ulster men pressed for- 
ward and met the English near the town of Louth. The 
English were drawn up on a hill facing the north-west. 
The archers w T ere in front, while the centre was a line 
of light troops, armed with spears and shields, made up 
of Irish kerns, who resided within the Pale, and the 
rere was occupied by heavy infantry clad in steel and 
armed with spears, heavy swords, and battle axes ; on 
the flanks were the cavalry, armed like the heavy in- 
fantry. The Irish soon appeared in a long line of kerns 
or light infantry, each man armed with a couple of spears, 
and a shean or dagger and shield ; but this array was 
made up of the small claus of Oriel joined together in 



8 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

one line ; each clan was headed by its piper. The line 
was flanked by mounted kerns, while behind marched 
the solid line of Gallowglass, heavy infantry, armed with 
spears, battle axes, swords, and sheans, some covered 
with chain armour, and others merely carrying shields. 
As the Irish army slowly advanced, the English 
archers fired on them, and the mounted kerns charged 
down on the archers and drove them from the field. 
The English heavy cavalry, which consisted principally 
of the knights of the Pale, flanked by English light 
cavalry, charged the mounted kerns, who divided 
and fled to the left and right of the line, while the 
English galloped after them. This left the centre clear, 
and the whole Ulster clans, who had been quietly march- 
ing forward behind the cavalry, advanced at the charge, 
the pipers playing, and the clansmen shouting their 
war cry. So close had they come before they were 
observed, and so rapidly did they charge, that the 
English archers had barely time to fire more than a 
couple of arrows towards them, when they were on top 
of them. The archers were not good swordsmen, and 
could not withstand the onslaught of the Ulster kerns, 
so they were driven pell-mell in on top of the English 
light armed troops, and broke their line in several 
places. The Irish followed up these advantages by 
dashing into these gaps. The English made desperate 
resistance for a short time, devoting much of their 
energies to kill the pipers whose music was well known 
to have greater effect in rousing the " Irish enemy" in 
battle, than the command of the chiefs. When the 
effect of this charge was noticed by the English General, 
he ordered back the cavalry, who on their return were 
followed by the Irish Gallowglass, flanked by the 
mounted kerns, and before the English knights had 
time to rally, they were thrust by the Gallowglass in on 
top of the English centre, which was then striving to keep 
in check the Irish clans who had broken through the 
second English line. Thus the whole army was thrown 
into confusion, and had to fight at close quarters with 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 9 

the Irish, who, having their bodies comparatively free, 
could easily crush beneath them the English soldiers and 
knights encumbered with steel armour and harness. 
The English soon broke up and fled, leaving many 
knights and nobles of the Pale, and freemen from Dublin, 
Drogheda, and Dundalk dead and wounded on the field 
behind them. 

Most of the English fled into the fortifications of 
Dundalk, while the rest took refuge in the castles in 
the southern parts of Magher Oriel (Louth). O'Donnell 
followed the English to Dundalk, and having neither 
the time nor the means to besiege Dundalk, left suffi- 
cient force around it to invest it, and turned on the 
remaining castles and minor fortresses of Magher Oriel. 
Everything gave way before the victorious Ulster Irish ; 
the castles and towns were all abandoned at their 
approach, and the English were driven beyond the 
Boyne. We are told the saddest words in real life as 
well as in fiction, are : " What might have been." But 
they appear saddest when read in Irish history. " What 
might have been" had Tyrone, Fermanagh, Brefney, 
Dalriada, and all the rest of Ulster sent assistance to 
O'Donnell and the Oirgiallians, enabling them to follow 
up this victory, by storming Dundalk and Drogheda, and 
crossing the Boyne, and driving the English into Dublin 
Bay as Brian Boru had the Danes. When O'Donnell- 
saw he had not sufficient forces to permanently occupy 
Louth, he and the Oirgiallians returned home, carrying 
with them all the cattle, horses, and moveable effects 
in the County Louth, and burning and destroying all the 
towns, castles, houses, and crops, and in fact, everything 
they were unable to carry, leaving the whole beautiful 
plain of Magher Oriel from the Boyne to Slieve Gullion 
one dreary desert, covered with black and smoking ruins, 
so that our ancestors of old Muineachan had their hills 
covered with cattle and sheep, fattened on the rich 
plains of Louth, and their stables filled with the steeds 
of the knights of the Pale. 

This terrible devastation of a rich country, and wanton 



10 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

destruction of private property, is very repugnant to us 
who iive in the end of the 19th century, but we must 
remember that the people of Magher Oriel had made 
several raids into West Oirgial, and the lords and knights 
of the Pale had raided all parts of Ulster they could get 
at, and everywhere they had set foot in, they laid waste 
with fire and sword, and doubtless the dams and sires 
of many of the cattle and horses carried off in this war, 
had been stolen by the men of the Pale from the Ulster 
Irish. 

Poor Hugh Ogue never returned to Dartrey, but died 
shortly afterwards in Farney in disappointment and 
grief; rilled with mourning at his own overthrow and 
sorrow for the many friends whose ruin he brought 
about. On his death his son Bryan was " made" The 
M'Mahon by his followers, but was never acknowledged 
by the majority of the clans of Oirgial. The year after 
his proclamation he quarrelled with M'Guinness of 
Iveagh, and started on a raiding expedition with all the 
followers he could gather for M'Guinness's country. 
M'Guinness collected his forces, and gave him battle, 
routed the M'Mahons, and killed the unfortunate Bryan. 
His descendants and followers settled finally in the 
upper part of the parish of Magheross, near Ballytrain. 
Rossa, the son of Manus, who had been carried off 
from Lough Tigh, was "made" The M'Mahon, immedi- 
ately on the death of Bryan, and was acknowledged by 
all the clans of Oirgial. The descendants of Redmond 
continued to hold Lough Tigh, and to protect the town 
and monastery of Muineachan. 

The result of this unhappy war was to create an 
estrangement between Farney and Lough Tigh, which 
continued for several generations, and sometimes the 
M'Mahons of Farney were allies of the English of Louth, 
but were generally at war with them ; and when at war, 
the English sometimes made raids into Farney, and stole 
the cattle of the Irish, while the Farney men always 
returned the compliment with interest. But neither 
M'Mahon of Farney nor the English of Louth could 



HISTOKICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 11 

make any headway into Lough Tigh, for the hills of 
Aughnamullen formed a barrier which protected Muinea- 
chan, and in the glens of Cremorne, the Lough Tigh and 
Dartrey men defended their property against all foes 
from the south. 

In the year 1508 Redmond's son, Redmond Ogue 
M'Mahon, was guilty of a sacrilegious deed which brought 
shame on the whole clan of the M'Mahons of Lough 
Tigh. He had some dispute with Maguire of Fermanagh. 
Philip (son of Edmond) Maguire of Fermanagh was 
on a visit with M'Kenna of Trough, and while 
Maguire and M'Kenna were assisting at Mass in Donagh 
old church, on St. Patrick's day, the M'Mahons sur- 
rounded the church and called on M'Kenna to surrender 
Maguire to him. M'Kenna refused, and M'Mahon set 
fire to the roof of the church. The priest addressed the 
congregation and invoked on them the blessing of God 
and of St. Patrick. Maguire aDd M'Kenna sallied forth, 
and after a determined fight, slew Redmond Ogue and 
many of his followers, and put the rest to flight. With 
this disgraceful exception, for nearly a century the 
power of the M'Mahons kept at bay both native traitor 
and foreign foe, until at last, all our countrymen were 
overcome, and the monastery of Muineachan was in 1540 
plundered and destroyed by the Protestant English 
soldiers of Henry VIII. Of that terrible day we have 
little record except that the Guardian and a number of 
Friars were beheaded, and the monastery turned for a 
time into a British fortress. Tradition pointed out the 
graves of the martryed Guardian and monks as near the 
Holy Well, which was filled in, and covered up many 
years ago by the building of the Provincial Bank, on the 
North road. The British rebuilt and remodelled the 
town, but they do not appear to have enjoyed it long, 
for the M'Mahons were in full power and occupation of 
it some years afterwards. During the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth, about the year 1580, a family quarrel arose 
among the M'Mahons about the division of the estates 
of Rossa Buidha M'Mahon, who had died without issue, 



12 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

and his brother Hugh Ruadh M'Mahon, the Tanist or 
heir in an unlucky moment called in the English Lord 
Deputy Fitzwilliam, to settle the dispute. Fitzwilliam, 
taking advantage of the quarrel, seized on Monaghan, 
and placed a Sheriff and a garrison in possession of the 
town and fortress ; and because M'Mahon complained, he 
was arrested on a false charge, but the jury who tried 
M'Mahon could not be induced to find an innocent 
man guilty, and were discharged. Fitzwilliam then hit 
on a plan which has been imitated in all political trials, 
even to our own times, viz., of " packing a jury," who 
performed their work, by finding M'Mahon guilty, and 
he was publicly executed in the Diamond of Monaghan. 
This judicial murder following so vile a plot had the 
effect of sending several of the Ulster Irish into arms 
against the English, and to join Hugh O'Neill and 
Hugh O'Donnell, who were then beginning their war 
against Elizabeth. 

There is a small picture still extant of the Monastery 
of Muineachan, drawn in 1590, from which it appears 
that the site is near where the Convent Schools or 
Presbytery is now situate. The picture also shows 
M'Mahon's house on the Island in Lough Tigh (a copy 
of this picture has been transferred to next page) ; and 
also shows that the monastery was then restored and in 
proper repair. The discovery of this picture shakes all 
our previous opinions as to the site of the monastery, 
which local tradition pointed out as the southern side 
of the present Diamond. It is certain that a castle 
stood there, portions of which were used, up even until 
about 30 or 40 years ago, as business houses, and as we 
have the fact recorded in several of our annals, that the 
monastery was fortified, and that there is no mention 
made anywhere of the building of the castle, it is pro- 
bable that during the wars the monastery was converted 
into a fortress, and that tradition is right in fixing the 
Diamond as the site. Besides, the distances may not 
have been very well preserved in the old picture referred 
to, and no trace has ever been discovered of the Monastic 
ruins elsewhere in the neighbourhood. 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 



13 




& 



» 
ft 



^S-f 






14 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

Under the sway of Hugh O'Neill and Hugh O'Donnell, 
during the reign of Elizabeth, the M'Mahons became 
less factionist and more National, were united and 
fought well for Ireland. In fact, an English writer, while 
abusing them, says they were " the proudest and most 
barbarous sept among the Irish and do ever soonest 
repine, and kick, and spurn the English Government." 

During the war which followed the murder of M'Mahon 
by the English, Monaghan was besieged and taken, and 
retaken and taken again. In fact, it stood five or six 
sieges, during these -heroic struggles of the Ulster Irish 
against the English. It was during one of these sieges 
that the English army under Norris came from Newry 
to relieve the town which O'Neill had invested, that the 
famous battle of Clontibret was fought in June 1595. 
I will not here attempt to describe that victory of our 
heroic ancestors. Suffice it to say, that the English 
were completely defeated, with the loss of some of 
their best generals, all their artillery, baggage, etc. 
The town capitulated a few days afterwards, and was 
held by the Irish until the end of the war in 1603, 
when the last struggles of O'Neill and O'Donnell ter- 
minated in a treaty, by which the English possessed 
themselves of all the garrisons, including Monaghan, out 
of which they soon afterwards expelled the Irish. The 
old Irish, who were driven to the hills in the neighbour- 
hood, appear not to have been content with this robbery, 
and made attacks on the town at intervals, the result of 
which was that the town and castle were deserted, and 
left in ruins by the English, who could not withstand these 
repeated surprises. About 1608, Sir Edward Blayney got 
a grant of the place from the Government, and rebuilt 
one of its forts. When the Lord Deputy visited the town 
about this time, he found only the fort, and about fifty 
huts occupied by soldiers, and everything else in ruins. 
A sum of money was granted by the King to repair the 
fortress, and in 1611 Sir E. Blayney got a grant of the 
markets and fairs. In 1613 the town was created a 
Borough, with a right to send two members to the old 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 15 

Irish Parliament. The first members, who were returned 
on 13fch April, 1613, were Thomas Reeves, T.C.D., 
Dublin ; and Henry Conlie, Gent, of Monaghan. The 
Corporation of Monaghan, which was then also estab- 
lished, consisted of a Provost, twelve free Burgesses, and 
an unlimited number of Freemen ; a Recorder, and some 
other officers. All these have long since disappeared. 
There were very few elections during the 17th century, 
as owing to the repeated efforts of our ancestors to gain 
back our country, the English inhabitants had much 
more to do than sending members to Parliament. 
Queen Elizabeth confiscated the whole country, and 
Cromwell had the pleasure of re-confiscating a great 
deal of it ; for many of the recipients of Elizabeth's 
favour never got more than an estate on paper, and 
knew better than to come to Monaghan to grab land. 
Most of the M.P's. for Monaghan Borough, in the 17th 
century, resided in Dublin, and other parts of Ireland 
outside Monaghan, and probably never saw Monaghan ; 
but being on the spot where the Parliament met, they, 
no doubt, considered themselves much safer in getting 
elected by the filling of an official return, than by going 
to Monaghan to canvass for votes. 

The Civil War of 1641 affected Monaghan consider- 
ably, for one of the first conspirators was The M'Mahon, 
and when Owen O'Connolly got drunk and informed 
on the Irish Chiefs in 1641, M'Mahon and Maguire 
were arrested in Dublin, and brought before the Lords 
Justices, where they gloried in their plot for the libera- 
tion of their country. They were brought over prisoners 
to London, where M'Mahon suffered the most cruel 
tortures, and was ultimately put on the rack, and 
when no betrayal could be extorted from him, he 
was beheaded at Tyburn in 1644 along with Maguire. 
Thus died this heroic Monaghan man, a martyr for his 
country. His Christian name was Hugh, after his 
maternal grandfather, the great Hugh O'Neill. In his 
youth he joined the Spanish army, in which he rose 
to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and was just the 



16 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

class of man to head the rising, but wholly unqualified 
as a conspirator. 

The absurd and lying stories of massacres, got up by 
the new settlers and land-grabbers in other parts of 
Ireland at this period, did not affect Monaghan much, 
for these gentry were in too great a hurry away to 
manufacture stories, they knowing well they were robbers, 
and not wishing to be caught with the stolen goods in 
their possession, appear to have departed at the first 
alarm. We find a few of them stating they had been 
deprived of their cattle, and making a long complaint of 
wrongs, containing as little truth as the modern claim 
for malicious injury of a boycotted land-grabber or emer- 
gency bailiff. When O'Neill took Monaghan, he hanged 
Lord Blayney's son in retaliation for M'Mahon's execu- 
tion. The pear tree on which he was hanged was 
pointed out in the garden where the old castle in the 
Diamond above mentioned stood, and was cut down 
about thirty-five years ago, by the man who rebuilt that 
side of the street. In an old map of the town of a 
somewhat earlier date than this war (a copy of which 
is on next page), there were but four streets and the 
Diamond in almost the same position as it now is, the 
south side of the latter being occupied by the castle, the 
gardens and pleasure grounds of which extended as far 
as the Convent Lake (then Lough Tigh). One street 
ran down part of Dublin Street, and was then, and for 
years after called Ballywollen Street, and the East Gate 
appears to have been about where the Misses Tierney's 
house is. Another street ran up part of the grounds 
occupied by Glasslough Street, and the North Gate was 
about where Mrs. Garrity's house is. The third street 
ran up where Mill Street now is, and the West Gate was 
close to Mr. M'Gurk's present house. The fourth street, 
which was the longest, came out of Mill Street at right 
angles, ran through where the Protestant church now 
stands, parallel to the castle and gardens to the Clones 
gate, where the lower gate of the Convent now is. Mill 
Street was afterwards further extended, and turning to 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 



17 



I'l I I I [ 



^Jycak cf Joofrrfe. 




. 



A. The Kinges Castell. D. The Fish pondes. 

B. The Bavvne being built all of stone. E. The Towne. 

C. The Garden. F. The Market place. 



G. The Gates. 
H. The Diches. 
I. The Loughes. 

B 



18 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

the left along the back of the Market house terminated at 
the lower part of Park Street. This street was for many 
years called Clones Street. There was a wall round the 
town except where the lakes protected it. 

During the gallant struggle of twelve years which 
followed 1641, Monaghan was not much exposed to 
the war. But Monaghan men fought well for Owen 
Roe O'Neill, and it was the divisions from Truagh and 
Monaghan whom he sent to intercept Monroe's brother 
coming from Coleraine to the Blackwater at Benburb. 
How well they discharged their mission, is seen by the 
fact that the Coleraine men never reached the Black- 
water, and the Monaghan men were back in time to 
take part in that glorious day when the power of 
England in Ulster was shaken to its very foundation. At 
the battle of Benburb, and all through the war, the 
patriotic Bishop of Clogher, Eiver M'Mahon of Monaghan, 
accompanied the army, and when Owen Roe O'Neill 
died, he was elected general, being the only man who 
could unite arid keep together all the Irish of Ulster ; 
but, in 1660 he risked a battle with the English in Co. 
Donegal, in which fatal fight his army was defeated, 
and the last hope of the Ulster Irish vanished. Eiver 
M'Mahon was shortly afterwards taken prisoner and w T as 
executed at Enniskillen by an officer whose life he had 
preserved on a former occasion. M'Mahon w 7 as buried in 
Devenish Island, and no monument or stone was raised 
to his memory until his successor, our late patriotic 
Bishop of Clogher, placed a statue to him in the mag- 
nificent Cathedral of St. Macartan, in Monaghan. It 
is very hard to trace the descent of the noble house of 
M'Mahon, for those of them who did not go into exile, 
were absorbed into the peasantry of our country, and 
many a humble thatched roof in our county contains 
under it more noble blood than the whole of the mansions 
of our present county snobocracy. Some of the M'Mahon's 
names were changed into other Irish names, as will be 
explained in a subsequent chapter, and some were 
Anglicised. The descendants of Glushniagh, who was 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 19 

killed in 1496, came through his son Redmond, who 
was married twice : first, to the daughter of O'Neill; 
and second, to the daughter of the Geraldine of Kildare. 
By the former he had four sons, viz., Glushniagh Ogue, 
Bryan, Manus, and Toal ; by the latter, one son, Art 
Moyle. Glushniagh Ogue was the ancestor of the 
M'Mahons who always lived about Monaghan, and took 
part against the English in every war and rebellion 
that arose in Ulster, while the race lasted. Some went 
to Spain, some to France, and others to South America, 
while of those who remained in Ireland, the last of the 
family died in Monaghan about sixty years ago, and is 
buried in the old Parish Church graveyard, Latlurcan. 
He left two sons, one of whom entered the English army, 
and had risen to the rank of Colonel, when he was sta- 
tioned in the barrack of Monaghan, about the time of the 
Crimean war. The other son resided at Castleblayney 
until his death ; his children emigrated to America. 
Redmond's second son, Bryan, was grandfather of Hugh 
Roe, who was put to death by Fitzwilliam. Brvan had 
another grandson called Ross, who lived at Corfinlough, 
and is said to have been the great- grand father of 
Glushniagh M'Mahon of Ballybay. This Glushniagh 
had a son, Roger, who had two sons named Bernard 
and John. There is no descendant of Bernard now 
alive except his daughter, Mrs. Fitzpatrick of Cormeen 
House, Ballybay. John was a surgeon in the British 
army, and died leaving issue. 

Manus and Toal settled in Trough, and the M'Mahons 
who reside there, are their descendants. 

The six sons of Art Moyle, viz., Patrick, Rorey, Art- 
Bwee, Ross, Toal, and Redmond, declined to submit to 
Elizabeth after the overthrow of O'Neill and O'Donnell, 
and they settled on the south-eastern slopes of Slieve 
Beagh, where, amid its fastnesses, thev held their own 
against all the power of the English Government. 
From these six men all the M'Mahons of College Lands 
are descended. 

Most of the other M'Mahon families went to Spain 
and France. 



20 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

The M'Mahons who remained in Ireland assembled a 
regiment for King James, and fought at the Boyne, 
Athlone, Limerick, and Aughrim ; the muster roll 
shows thirteen companies of a total of 650 men, under 
command of Colonel Art Ogue M'Mahon, Lord Lieu- 
tenant of Co. Monaghan. He was killed at the siege of 
Athlone. Bryan M'Mahon and Hugh M'Mahon were 
the two Deputy Lieutenants, and Members of the 
" Patriot Parliament" for the County of Monaghan. 
The Borough sent no representative to that famous 
assembly. Lord Blayney was the only Peer from this 
County who sat in the House of Lords under King 
James, which seat he occupied as Baron of Monaghan. 

During the reign of King James II., when the Catholics 
got some fair play, the first act of the Monaghan 
Catholics was to restore the monastery, and collect into 
it the Friars who had been canying on their duties 
through the country, at the peril of their lives. The 
Bishop of the Diocese, the Most Rev. Patrick Tyrrell, 
came out of his hiding and took up his lodgings in the 
restored monastery. There was great pomp at the cere- 
mony of reopening of the monastery, and consecrating 
the buildings, at which the Bishop presided. 

When William III. had conquered Ireland, Monaghan 
was re-occupied by the English settlers, and no Irishman 
or Catholic dare live within its walls. During the 
penal times God only knows how the Catholics of the 
country about Monaghan managed to live with the 
garrison in the town always on the watch for priests 
and Papists. During those long and dark penal days, 
the glen now occupied by the Corby Rock Mill, was 
the spot where Mass was generally celebrated. There 
were no roads or lanes through it as now, and a man 
always kept watch towards the town from Killyvane 
Hill, lest the garrison would surprise and murder the 
priest and people. This old glen brings to our minds 
two eras of our history. Its name betokens it to have 
been the property of the Abbot from Comharba (Coarba), 
an abbot or successor of a saint, and the Baughog of 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 21 

penal days, with the rough or damp ground for a floor, 
and the cloudy sky for a roof, where our brave ancestors 
worshipped God, and heard Mass at the risk of their 
lives. 

Priest-hunting appears to have been a lucrative occu- 
pation of the Loyalists in those days. For the infamous 
Penal Code contained a law, rewarding persons who 
informed on Catholic Clergy, etc., viz., for discovering 
on an Archbishop, Bishop, or Vicar-General, £50 ; on 
Priests, £20 ; and on Catholic Schoolmasters, £10. 
There are many traditions still extant of priest-hunting 
during these dark times, on only one of which I will 
touch here. 

There was a priest named M'Kenna, who used to 
look after the spiritual wants of the people of Slieve 
Beagh, and parts of Truagh. The government officials 
were constantly on the look-out for him, but always 
failed to catch him, owing to the careful guardianship 
of his faithful people. However, information was 
brought to Monaghan, that on a certain morning before 
daylight, he was to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the 
Mass on a Druidical Stone, in Broughan-Shee-Bragan. 
A party of soldiers were dispatched early in the night, and 
having proceeded through the townland of Eshcloughfin, 
sometime before daydawn, they observed the light of the 
two candles on the altar. The officer fearing to approach 
too close to the place where the people assembled, lest 
some of the scouts who always were on the " look-out" 
for surprises from soldiers and priest-hunters, would 
detect him, and that the priest would thereby escape, 
detached a good marksman and told him to approach 
within gunshot, cover one of the lights, and to fire when 
it was darkened by the priest passing before it. This 
command he executed, and when the priest moved to 
read the last gospel, fired. The ball passed through the 
priest's head. The place where he fell can still be seen 
in Bragan, and is called Lath-na-taggart. There was a 
hole in the Druidical Stone, which some modern people 
say was caused by the bullet. This is manifestly absurd, 



22 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

for the most modern rifle could not have perforated it 
in like manner. 

When labour began to get scarce by the emigration 
of the Presbyterians in the middle of the eighteenth 
century, the Catholics were permitted to come to work 
within the walls of the town, but were required to live 
outside in a place called the Pound, now the Pound 
Hill, where they were impounded after the nine o'clock 
bell rang. The custom of ringing the bell at nine 
o'clock, p.m., was kept up until recent times in 
Monaghan, to remind us of our former slavery, and is 
still practised in Derry, and other northern towns. 

Henry Blayney, Lord Baron of Monaghan, having 
sided with King James II. for a while, covered his 
estate with a mortgage to protect himself from confisca- 
tion, and the mortgagee of the Monaghan portions of his 
estate foreclosed, and sold the estate to a Williamite 
General, named Robert Echlin, who got the borough of 
Monaghan to return him as its member in 1695. Echlin 
sold the estate to a man called Cairns, and who was 
created a baronet (Sir Alexander). Cairns had one son 
(Sir Henry Cairos), who died without issue, and had 
one daugher, who married the then Lord Blayney ; and 
he having died without issue, his widow re-married a 
man called John Murray. The estates descended to Mrs. 
Murray, who had five daughters, but no sons. 

These daughters were married as follows : the eldest 
to Lord Claremont, who had no male issue, and while 
the estate was in her hands, she began to build her 
castle where the Monaghan Tennis Court is now. Before 
she had proceeded far with the building, she changed it 
into a farmyard, but died before it was complete. On 
Lady Claremont's death the estate passed to the second 
daughter, who was married to General Cunningham. 
Cunningham, when the estate passed to his wife, got the 
patronage of the Borough. In 1796 he bargained with 
Castlereagh for the two votes for the Union of the 
borough members. The price he received was the 
creation of the title of Lord Rossmore. There was no 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 23 

issue of this marriage, and on the death of Lady Rossmore, 
the third daughter having died unmarried, the estate 
would have descended to the fourth daughter, who was 
wife of a gentleman called Jones, who had one son, but 
both mother and son pre-deceased Lady Rossmore, so it 
descended to the fifth daughter, wife of a Mr. Westenra. 
Westenra belonged to a wealthy family of Dublin shop- 
keepers and tradesmen, from whom the present owners 
of the estate are descended. The first Westenra who 
represented the borough of Monaghan in Parliament, 
was about 1775 when he "kept the seat warm" for one 
of his wife's relations, " Fortescue." The title of Ross- 
more died with Cunningham's widow, but was re-estab- 
lished at the beginning of the present century. 

In the last Parliament that sat in Dublin, 1799, 
Henry Westenra and William Fortescue represented 
the borough of Monaghan. In Sir Jonah Barrington's 
" Black List," which contains the corrupt gang of traitors 
to their country, the names of Henry Westenra and 
William Fortescue appear as giving that treasonable 
vote which destroyed the nationality of their country, 
and wiped out of history our native town of Monaghan, 
for the old Borough was disfranchised by the Act of 
Union. 

At the end of old songs and ballads it was the custom 
to conclude with a moral, but what necessity is therefor 
me to add a moral here ; for such can be traced in every 
line of the history of our town, as well as of our own 
country. Faction, family quarrels, and drink have opened 
the gates for our enemies, and that the last betrayal was 
made by two of that mongrel breed, who, though 
nominally Irishmen, hate their country and their people, 
and bear not one noble or patriotic sentiment in their 
hearts. 

I must now conclude by hoping that lessons of the 
past may become our beacons of the future, and that if 
we do not gain much, we have lost nothing by learning 
the lesson of old Monaghan. 



24 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE UNITED IRISHMEN IN MONAGHAN. 

In the preceding Chapter, the writer abstained from 
any reference to the United Irishmen's Society, and 
the stirring events at the close of the last century, as 
he considered the subject should be dealt with separately. 

For some years before the formation of the United 
Irishmen's Society, there had been considerable disturb- 
ance in the county, caused by party fights, originating 
in secret societies. The Protestants had different 
organizations, the principal of which was the " Peep-o'- 
Day-Boys," while the Catholics were dependent on the 
" Defenders." Many of the breaches of the law com- 
mitted by the Defenders were brought to light, and the 
members of the society imprisoned and hanged; while 
owing to the spirit in which the law was administered, 
hardly any of the Protestants were brought to justice. 
On one occasion, we find a Protestant body of men 
being brought to trial for raids for arms on houses of 
the country people. These men called themselves the 
"Ashfield Association," and resided near Cootehill. In 
their energy to maintain " law and order" they broke 
into several houses at night, looking for arms, but, in an 
evil moment for themselves, they raided in the houses 
of some Protestants on the same business, and for this 
offence they were forthwith arrested. 

The great effort of the United Irish Leaders was to 
unite all parties and to form one grand society of Irish- 
men, and this they succeeded very well in doiog, under 
the circumstances, as far as the County Monaghan was 
concerned. The Presbyterians and Catholics of this 
county, especially those who resided in and near Glass- 
lousjh and Newbliss, ioined and bound themselves 
together for the liberation of their country in the 
United Irishmen's organisation. The first intimation 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 25 

the Government appear to have got that people's minds 
were running beyond mere party or faction fights, was 
in 1794, when one James Duffy got excited in Castle- 
blayney, and shouted success to the French Revolution, 
and cursed the Duke of York, and the King's army. 
At each assizes held at that period in Monaghan, 
numbers of young men were brought up charged with 
raiding for arms at night ; and in 1796, one James 
Moan, of Monaghan, was tried, convicted, and sentenced 
to be put in the pillory in the Diamond of Monaghan, 
for tendering an unlawful oath of secrecy to one 
"William Gillespie, which oath is believed to have been 
the United Irishmen's oath. The pillory was a wooden 
frame attached to the steps of the old cross in the 
Diamond, and the criminal stood erect, fastened with 
his head through a hole in the upper boards of the 
frame. The people around used to throw dirt, eggs, 
etc., at the unfortunate prisoner's head. However, 
when political prisoners were put in at this period, at 
first they were received with silent respect, and this 
James Moan would have been similarly received had 
not a man called Battersby, who resided in the Diamond, 
and who had some old quarrel with Moan, supplied 
eggs and other missiles to some childen, and induced 
them to pelt Moan. At the Summer assizes of 1796, 
William Armstrong and John Monaghan, of Clones, 
were indicted for tendering the United Irishmen's oath 
to Robert Gregg, stating that it was a brotherhood that 
all might join. From this on the brotherhood of the 
United Irishmen spread rapidly in the County Monaghan, 
and no amount of Government persecution seemed to 
check it. The principal leader of this portion of the 
County Monaghan was Mr. Burke Rice, of Leitrim, in the 
parish of Tyholland, a member of that family which, both 
before and since, has furnished so many patriots willing 
to strive, struggle, and suffer for their country. The 
United Irish Societies in the County Monaghan appear 
to have been formed into a Revolutionary Society about 
1795-6, and the old inferior societies, consisting of about 



26 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

thirty-five members each, divided themselves into sub- 
ordinate societies of twelve members each ; the secretary 
of each twelve members was appointed a non-com- 
missioned officer. Each five societies formed a company 
of 60 men, and the delegate of these five societies was 
appointed captain of the compauy. The delegate of 
ten of these companies was appointed colonel of the 
battalion, which was thus composed of 600 men. The 
colonels of the battalions in each county sent in the 
names of the three persons to the Executive Directory 
of the union, one of whom was appointed adjutant 
general of the county. Thus each county had its division, 
and each province its army ; and atone time there were 
in Ireland 500,000 members of the society. The whole 
County of Monaghan was well organised, and all were 
anxious to propagate the society, bat in this a good deal 
of indiscretion was exhibited; tor every assizes numbers 
of men were charged with tendering the United Irish- 
men's oath to others, who would inform on them, which 
ended in a trial at the following assizes, and sometimes 
not even there. In reading over the record of those 
days, one is almost led to believe he is reading of the 
present day, so similar are the names of places and 
people ; but, alas ! how changed are the politics of the 
degenerate offspring of some of the United Irishmen. 
At the Monaghan assizes in 1797, Thomas Armstrong, 
of Loughans, County Tyrone, William Armstrong, of 
Bloomfield (the house lately occupied by Very Rev. 
D. Canon O'Connor, P.P., of Errigal Truagh), and John 
Delop, of Grange, were tried for swearing in Thomas 
Hanna, of Killydonnelly, a United Irishman in Cussee. 
Thomas Armstrong was also tried for swearing in Samuel 
Longmore and Samuel Mitchell in Ballinode, while 
Thomas Armstrong, David Hanna, Edward M'Carney, 
and another Samuel Longmore were tried for a like 
offence. The trial broke down, owing to Thomas 
Hanna and Samuel Longmore not swearing against 
the prisoners what the Government expected they 
would swear, so they were all acquitted. But Hanna 



HISTOKICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 27 

and Longmore were returned for trial for perjury. 
On the person of Thomas Armstrong, who was arrested 
at Samuel Mitchell's house in Ballinode, were found 
the following documents: "The Declarations, Resolutions, 
and Constitutions of the Society of United Irishmen ;" 
a written paper containing the following oath : " I, A. B., 
do solemnly swear that I will be ready to turn out in a 
short notice to support my former obligation, that is, an 
equal representation of all the people of Ireland in 
Parliament ;" and a printed book called, " A Treatise 
concerning the Lord's Supper." The certificate of 
membership given to the United Irishmen by the secre- 
tary was of the most primitive kind. On 13th April, 
1797, at the trial of George Johnston, Clincor (Cloncaw), 
Hugh Meighan of Glasslough, and William Woods, 
Mullajordan, for tendering the oath to Bernard M'Keown 
at Glasslough, one William Murphy, an informer, gave 
evidence against Johnston, and produced the certificate 
given him by Johnston, when he was sworn in. The 
following is a copy : " I do certify that William Murphy 
has been duly elected, and having taken the test provided 
in the constitution, has paid. J. G., Secretary." The 
J. G. were Johnston's initals transposed. Johnston was 
sentenced to be hanged at Glasslough. The Monaghan 
Militia was called up, and as the Government began 
to find out the spread of the United Irishmen amongst 
the Militia Corps through the country, they were all 
removed to different districts, and the Monaghans were 
sent to the neighbourhood of Belfast, and were replaced in 
Monaghan by the Clare Militia, and in Carrickmacross by 
the Armagh Militia. These regiments were not long 
quartered here until the Monaghan men began to induce 
them to become United Irishmen. Owen Treanor, of 
Carrickmacross, was tried and acquitted for tendering 
the United Irishmen's oath to one of the Armagh 
Militia in Carrickmacross. One militiaman named 
Richard Thornton informed on Thomas Hastings for 
tendering the oath to him, and Thomas Hastings was 
tried twice — first time, a split jury, and second time 



28 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

in September 1798, when he was convicted, and sen- 
tenced to three years' imprisonment, three times in the 
pillory, and publicly whipped through the streets of 
Monaghan. In the pillory he was received with all the 
honours of a patriot by our townsmen, and he suffered 
his corporal punishment like a man. The mode of 
whipping prisoners in those days was by tying the victim 
to the back of a cart in front of the old Court-house 
in the Diamond (the houses now occupied by Messrs. 
Crawford and Co., and Mr. Jenkins). The horse then 
walked down Ballywollen Street (now Dublin Street), 
and over the Pound Hill to a small suburb where St. 
Macartan's Cathedral now is, while the unfortunate 
prisoner's back was torn with the lash. One of the most 
remarkable incidents of the period is, that while one of 
the United Irishmen was undergoing this terrible torture, 
he never cried or murmured a complaint, though his 
torn flesh and blood spattered about the streets. 

Almost the entire male population of Glasslough, of 
all creeds, were enrolled in the society for the libera- 
tion of their country. It was an important town at 
the time, for between it and the neighbouring village 
of Tullyree (now no more) there was a full regiment of 
COO United Irishmen. The Government officials appear 
to have been in a terrible fix, for no informers of im- 
portance could be got in the country, and the only men 
brought to trial were those who would make a mistake, 
and tender the oath to some despicable traitor to his 
country. The name of Mr. Burke Rice appears to have 
been sent forward by the Monaghan colonels for the 
appointment of adjutant-general for the county, and 
some informer in Dublin or Belfast acquainted the 
Government, and the English Secretary, Pelham, issued 
a warrant for his arrest, and he was forthwith lodged in 
Monaghan gaol without a trial. The United Irishmen 
then adopted throughout the county the dangerous 
method of making midnight raids for arms on the houses 
of those who were not members of the society. The few 
weapons they got were not worth the risks they ran by 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAX. 29 

giving opportunities for wholesale charges to be made 
against the country people, and the danger of leaders 
being recognised by those in the houses they visited. 
From all parts of the country men were tried at each 
assizes for raiding: for arms. It was for one of these 
unfortunate raids that Mr. Charles Johnston, the 
colonel of the United Irishmen of Glasslough, was 
arrested with fifty. others, on the information of a man 
whose house was alleged to have been visited, named 
Alexander Byers, called by the country people "Weepy" 
Byers, of Drumgarron, brother-in-law of William Murphy 
who swore against George Johnston. In October, 1797, 
they were tried, and some were convicted. Charles 
Johnston, Francis Carbery, of Glasslough ; Patrick 
M'Kenna and William M'Kenna, of Doaghies ; William 
Patterson, of Glasslough; and John Hughes, of Sillis, were 
all sentenced to be hanged. Both Francis Carbery and 
John Hughes were martyred for their country, and were 
executed at Glasslough on Saturday, the 16th October, 
1797. Hughes had a funeral a mile long ; every man at 
it wore a red cross on his breast. The two M'Kennas 
and Patterson were detained for some time, but when it 
was found that they could be of no use to the Govern- 
ment, even though they turned traitors, which they 
refused to do, and some influential persons having 
interested themselves on their behalf, they were dis- 
charged. Poor Johnston was kept in prison for some 
months, where every effort was used to induce him 
to betray his countrymen, but all in vain. Ultimately, 
he was brought for execution to Glasslough, and even 
at the foot of the gallows he was offered life, liberty, 
and reward, if he would only inform on his comrades, but 
he again stoutly refused. As a last resource his mother 
was brought to him, and she was asked to try to induce 
him to become an informer. She boldly replied that 
though the sacrifice was great, she would never ask her 
darling son to stain his name. The execution was 
carried out, and thus died a hero of whom any nation 
might well be proud. 



30 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

Warrants for acts in connection with the United 
Irishmen's Society were also issued for the following 
men, from the neighbourhood of Glasslough, some of 
whom were kept in prison for long periods, others were 
tried and acquitted, and many escaped": — Neil M'Quaid 
and Pat M'Kenna, Aughaloughan ; Terence M'Kenna, 
Henry M'Quaid, Doaghies ; Robert Riddell, John 
Heatly, and William Davidson, of Ballynaman ; Pat 
Bradley, Clonhirk ; James O'JNeil, of Tullydur ; Daniel 
M'Aleer and William Maxwell, Tullyhamagan ; Owen 
Smollen, of Leek ; Arthur O'Hare and Samuel Waddell, 
of Aghaboy ; Hugh Boylan, of Donagh ; James Crosby, 
Tulledin ; Arthur M'Quaid, John M'Quaid, William 
Bell, and James Anderson, Ooolcollid ; Pat M'Quaid, 
James Duffy, J. Simpson, James Moyna, James M'Kenna, 
and Samuel M'Kenna, of Lowart ; George Preston, 
Creighans ; Pat M'Kenna, Pat M'Court, Hugh Quinn, 
Thomas, Edward, and Patrick O'Hanlon, of Killyboley; 
Pat Donnelly and John Bradley, of Clonlick ; Pat 
Treanor, Thomas Duffy, and Thomas Fields, of Stramore; 
together with thirty or forty others from the towns of 
Glasslough and Tullyree. 

One night when the Clontibret United Irishmen were 
at drill near where St. Mary's church now stands, one of 
the leaders suggested that they should " lift" the arms of 
the Yeomen in the neighbourhood. With this intention 
they proceeded to the house of one Boyd, in Kilcrow, 
where shots were exchanged ; and Alexander Stewart, 
Boyd's brother-in-law, was shot, and the arms success- 
fully carried off. Several men in the neighbourhood 
were arrested, but nothing could -be proved against 
them, until one of their number turned informer, with 
the result that James Devlin, of Corkaskeagh, was tried 
and hanged iu Monaghan on the 24th March, 1798. 
Most of the others escaped. Almost a similar incident 
took place in Tydavnet, early in 1798, when the arms 
of the Yeomen were "lifted" by the United Irishmen of 
Slieve Beagh. The arms of one Thomas Brigs, of Itereera, 
were taken, and he swore informations, and had a lot of 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 31 

his neighbours arrested. None of the prisoners would 
inform, so the trial broke down, and the prisoners were 
acquitted. The following are the names of those 
charged : — Bernard and Denis M'Cluskey, Drumscor ; 
Pat and Jas. Lappin, of same place ; George and Michael 
M'Cusker, of Knocknalun ; Owen M'Elroy, of Aughna- 
meena ; and Pat Sherry, of Feebagh. At the same 
assizes some Aghabog men, Andrew Smith, James 
Sullivan, James Finlay, and Pat M'Pbillips, were tried 
and acquitted for swearing in United Irishmen at Drum, 
while Pat Duffy, of Annagoes, was tried for unlawful 
assembly at Newbliss. Pat Prendergast, of Lacklevera, 
was tried for inducing Samuel King to go to a meeting 
of United Irishmen at James Glenhorn's, stating that a 
worthy man from Belfast would be there that night. 
Several batches of men from Aughnamullen were tried 
at each assizes. Seven men, named Patrick Clerkin, 
Francis O'Brien, Francis M'Elroy, Giles M'Lave or 
Hand, Patrick Quilch or Hand, William Connolly, and 
Felix Duffy, were tried for taking arms from Thomas 
Woods, of Drumconean, and were acquitted, while 
Stephen Sherlock and Felix Duffy were also acquitted 
for raiding for arms in Lisnadarragh. Pat O'Brien and 
John Duffy were tried for collecting money for seditious 
purposes ; and Michael Coyle, of Mahon, was tried for 
using seditious words. From Tullycorbet, Richard 
Mooney and Pat M'Ardle were tried for attempting to 
swear in United Irishmen, and were acquitted, while 
John Knox and James M'Girr (short) were tried and 
acquitted for similar offences. 

The nearest approach to a rising was made by the 
United Irishmen of Tyholland and of the old town of 
Castleshane. A large quantity of arms and ammunition 
was being conveyed under an armed escort of soldiers 
from Charlemont Fort. The people got intimation of it, 
and arranged to attack and strive to carry off the arms 
and ammunition. The plot was cleverly conceived and 
secretly arranged, but the man selected to lead the 
carrying out of it, one Matthew Williamson, a hatter 



32 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

from Groves, did not come to the scene of the intended 
action, and consequently, the men were not properly 
posted, and many of the men finding this, returned to 
their homes in disgust, but the more determined re- 
mained, and one of the Rices of Tyholland stepped into 
the gap, and led the " forlorn hope." The attack was 
made on the convoy at the old road through Killaniel, 
with considerable pluck, but without any apparent plan. 
A short but determined struggle was made. Some 
soldiers were wounded, and several of the United Irish- 
men were wounded, and some few killed. The gallant 
leader, James Rice, of Leitrim, was crippled for life 
from the effects of gunshot wounds received in the legs 
during the fight. It is sad to think what might have 
been the result had Williamson kept his appointment. 
With the arms and ammunition so captured in their 
hands, the United Irishmen of Monaghan might have 
kindled "a living blaze" in their county, which would 
have shone as bright as Wexford through all Irish 
history. 

The parish and town of Monaghan were rather slow 
at first to organise, but once it was started it progressed 
rapidly. Perhaps it was thought better to have caution. 
The first members sworn in were principally Presby- 
terians, and the Colonel was Mr. Wm. Wright, of Dublin 
Street. There were only two Catholic officers, one was 
Mr. John Duffy (father of Sir Charles Gavan Duffy), 
but who the other was, I have been unable to ascertain. 
Drill meetings took place by night, in different fields 
around Monaghan, but seldom in the same place as on 
the preceding night. The captain of one of the com- 
panies in the country part of the parish, was Mr. Michael 
Hughes, of Aughnaseda, uncle of Mr. James Hughes, 
the present patriotic proprietor of Milltown Mills. " An 
oath was passed against him," and also against James 
Hughes, senior (father of our present worthy neighbour), 
and against George Smyth, of Coolmain, and James 
Smyth, of Tirfinnog, by one M'Connell, of Lisdrum- 
doagh, for raiding for arms. They were arrested on a 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 33 

warrant, issued by Dacre Hamilton, brought to 
tria], and Michael Hughes was sentenced to long 
imprisonment, from which he escaped during his 
incarceration in Duncannon fort, just before the 
prisoners were bartered to the King of Prussia. In 
every county the Government had some strong supporter 
amongst the traitor Irishmen, whose hatred of his fellow- 
countrymen far exceeded that of any Englishman, and 
such a person was always the best instrument against 
the people. The principal mainstay of the Government 
in Monaghan was Dacre Hamilton of Cornacassa. His 
vile character has been so ably dealt with by other 
writers, that I will not venture to describe it here. 
It was through his instrumentality most of the 
United Irishmen were arrested, before him they were 
brought prisoners, and by him, in his capacity as a 
magistrate, they were sent for trial ; and he, being such 
a willing tool, was the individual selected to fill the 
office of High Sheriff of this county, in 1798. He was 
commander of the Monaghan Yeomen, and was one 
morning astonished to hear from the Government in 
Dublin, that the whole Yeomanry of the county were 
more or less impregnated with United Irish ideas, 
and that many were members of the society. At parade 
the following day, he called on them to abandon the 
society, and threatened the usual pains and penalties, 
but all were mute. He then sent for some of the men 
he thought he could most rely on, and interrogated 
them, but they pleaded ignorance. At the subsequent 
meetings of the United Irishmen they laughed at how 
much he was astray in his inquiries. He then hit on a 
plan of sending a spy to join the body, and convey the 
information to him. Here the United Irishmen made 
a grave mistake in admitting any new members into 
the society when they found Hamilton so anxious 
about them. The first or second meeting the spy 
attended, when the members were going out, a chandler 
named Francis Fleming, threw a potato and hit Mr. 
Wright on the back of the head, and a short altercation 

C 



34 HISTOKICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

took place between Mr. Wright and those near him. 
The following day at the parade of the Yeomen, Hamil- 
ton again stated that there were United Irishmen 
amongst them, and called on them to come forward 
and renounce their connection with the society. All 
were as usual silent, and Hamilton, to the astonishment 
of the members, called out, " Frank Fleming, who hit 
Billy Wright in the back of the head with a potato ?" 
Fleming was greatly surprised, and boldly stated it was 
he, but added, that he might be found amongst fools, but 
never amongst traitors. This incident had the effect of 
dissolving the society amongst the Yeomen, and at 
their last meeting, their leader stated they would not 
meet again until the " word" came from head-quarters 
in Belfast. Mr. John Hamill, of Rooskey Mills (grand- 
uncle of Mr. Robert Hamill, of Rooskey), was the leading 
United Irishman in the barony of Dartree, and suc- 
ceeded in bringing many of his fellow-countrymen into 
the society, and it was discovered, to the horror and 
astonishment of the Government, and Mr. Kerr, the 
captain, that he had sworn in the whole troop of New- 
bliss Yeomanry Cavalry. One Thomas Bowes turned 
informer on him, and he escaped from the country, 
after an exciting chase through a bog, where he suc- 
ceeded in throwing two officers who were sent to arrest 
him, into a bog hole. 

Amongst the Monaghan Militia in the camp at Blaris 
Moor, the United Irish Society was discovered to 
have made great progress, and four of them were 
tried by Court-martial and sentenced to be shot, in the 
hope of either deterring the others, or of inducing the 
prisoners to inform. They were Daniel Gillen, Owen 
M'Kenna, Dheariugh ; William M'Kenna, Dheariugh ; 
and Peter M'Carren. Every effort was made to induce 
them to betray their comrades. Life and liberty were 
offered to them, but all to no purpose. The father of 
the two M'Kennas, who kept a public house at Dhea- 
riugh's Bridge, on the Blackwater, travelled from 
Trough to Belfast to witness the trial, and was asked to 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 35 

advise bis sons to inform and save their lives, to which 
request he replied, "I can bear to see ray sons die, but 
not to live traitors and slaves in the land of their birth." 
The old man stood by like a hero, while his sons and 
their two comrades were executed on Blaris Moor. Lord 
Edward Fitzgerald, when speaking of the scene after- 
wards, stated, " Were I M'Kenna I would not barter 
the sterling virtue of his noble soul for all the tinselled 
honours which the highest hand of power could confer." 
All writers agree in saying that the execution of these 
men, without any resistance beiDg made, was the 
greatest blow the national party received. It was the 
first offer of the army to the people. The people failed 
to embrace it, and the link which bound them together 
was broken. Had the leaders the courage then to strike, 
the army would have been united with the people, in a 
great struggle for their country's freedom. But this 
grand opportunity was lost, and the very men who were 
willing to fight for their country at Blaris Moor in 1797, 
fought fiercely and bitterly against it at Antrim, in 
1798. 

Martial Law was put in force in 1798 and a fierce 
and licentious soldiery were let loose on the country. 
Dacre Hamilton raided by day and night on the houses 
of the farmers. What the people suffered then will 
never be known, for no records were kept of the Court- 
martials. Many a poor traveller was cut down at night 
on the road by the cavalry. The lash tore through the 
flesh of many an honest Irishman, and many an innocent 
man was hanged by the supporters of law and order. 
All the while the people waited for the word ; that word 
that never came. It is very hard to trace the subsequent 
career of any of those who suffered or escaped in those 
times. Mr. Michael Hughes returned to his home some 
years after his escape from prison, and after the rebellion. 
Mr. John Hamill, after many adventures, escaped from 
Derry to America, and no word ever came from him. 
Mr. Burke Rice and Mr. James Rice returned home 
also, and died in their native parish. 



36 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

When looking up some old journals of the subsequent 
years, I find the following lines on the death of a relative 
of mine in 1809, who was leader of the United Irish- 
men in Carrickmacross : — 

The Patriot's Grave. 

On Doohatty's rude rock sat the genius of Erin, 

"When Sol rose to bid bleak October adieu, 
His cheering beam yellow'd the osier and fern, 

But scattered oak leaves hid the shamrock from view ; 
Awhile she reclined on her arm in sorrow, 

And many a tear to her harp string she gave; 
Then, raising her sad eyes endeavoured to borrow 

One view of her patriot seeking a grave. 

Bewailed as a child, as a friend, as a brother, 

She saw his sad reliques slow moving along, 
While the hirelings of sorrow felt real grief smother, 

And changed into tears the wild notes of their song. 
She summoned old Carolan, favourite bard, 

Attentive you heard the commands which she gave, 
Bear the Shamrock and laurel to yon lone church-yard, 

And leave them and these lines on fhe Patriot's grave. 



" Beneath this cold flag are placed the remains of 
Mr. Edward Carolan, jun., who, though born in Carrick- 
macross, lived and died a citizen of the world. He had, 
indeed, many virtues, yet he loved his country, and 
those who should be good judges declared it was a fault. 
Through life his friendship continued to all who loved 
Ireland, and his hatred to none (except those who be- 
trayed her). The poor offered prayers for his soul, and 
the orphans were grieved for his loss. The religion he 
professed was edified by his last moments, in which he 
forgave the prosecution of these old men, who would 
never pardon one act of his youth. For him the proud 
ermine had then less terrors than the fleece of the lamb. 
But he lingered, and he died, and he wanted a grave, 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 37 

and the bosom of that country which he loved received 
him." 

The whole organisation in the county died out 
without another blow being struck for Ireland. It is 
related that some Monaghan men made their way to 
the County Down where they took part in the battles 
of Saintfield and Ballinahinch. 

After the capture of the Hoche in Lough S willy, 
Wolfe Tone and his French comrades were conveyed 
prisoners through the County Monaghan. They were 
quartered in Aughnacloy church about 15th October, 
1798, and next day proceeded down an old road, 
through Grange, through Donagh, Faulkland, Knock- 
bwee, Castlesbane, Clontibret, Castleblayney, etc. It is 
hard to tell why some effort had not been made to 
rescue Tone. He must either have been unknown to 
the people, or because they were without leaders, all of 
whom were then in prison or in exile. 

Some wise people now-a-days may talk lightly of the 
methods adopted for liberty by our ancestors then, but 
if such persons were in the same position as they were 
how would they act ? While on the other hand, many 
point to '98 men and boast of their being ready to take 
the hillside. Of course these fireside hillsiders can talk 
very safely, as they are quite certain never to be on 
the hillside except in pursuit of their ordinary peaceful 
avocations. 

It must be owned to the credit of our county that none 
of the leaders or men of position in the society turned 
traitors, and that the informers, who were few, were 
confined to the lowest grades ; and that, though jury 
packing was as ripe then as it is now, the Government 
found difficulty to obtain convictions, and the large 
majority of political prisoners were acquitted at every 
assizes. Those who were convicted either by the ordi- 
nary law or by court-martial met their fate bravely 
and died real martyrs to their country's cause. Large 
numbers fled from the neighbourhood. Some escaped 
abroad, leaving behind them a ruined country and a 



38 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

lost cause, many of whom died broken-hearted and 
never returned, and their bones lie in far-off land?, 
while 

" The dust of some is Irish earth, 
Among their own they rest, 
And the same land that gave them birth 

Has caught them to her breast ; 
And we will pray that from their clay 

Full many a race may start, 
Of true men, like you men, 
To act as brave a part." 



CHAPTER III. 

NOTES ON IRISH NAMES. 



The nomenclature of the people and localities in Ireland 
has undergone many changes. Partly from ignorance, and 
partly from want of national spirit, many names have 
become corrupted, and many Anglicised. The loss of 
our national language has been the worst enemy of our 
national names. 

When Dr. 0' Donovan made his famous tour through 
the country, correcting on his way the spelling of the 
names of most of the parishes and townlands, he wrote 
a number of important letters concerning each county. 
These notes remain in MS. in the Royal Irish Academy 
— those on County Derry being alone printed. They 
furnished to succeeding archaeologists and historians 
some material to work up the interesting subject of the 
topography of our country. But in dealing with our 
surnames we have no guide, and must depend on such 
information as can be obtained from Irish-speaking 
people, and from a careful examination of our annals. 

We should begin with a search for the names of the 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 39 

different clansmen who inhabited Ireland in the early 
years of the English invasion, and from whom most of 
the present inhabitants are descended, and therefrom 
start with our researches. 

It is surprising in how very few instances the original 
clan name has survived amongst the people, who most 
undoubtedly trace their origin to a particular clan. 
Within the Pale, where clansmen and Normans inter- 
married, it is not surprising to find whole districts without 
an Irish name. When, however, the same thing is met 
with in places where the English never got a permanent 
footing it is more to be wondered at. There are only 
two explanations: one, that the districts changed their 
populations ; the other, that the populations changed 
their names. The latter will, in most cases, be found to 
be the true explanation. Within the Pale, though 
many Englishmen settled, still the betagb, or small 
farmer, from whom the middle classes were in time 
recruited, remained Celtic, while the settlers, who consti- 
tuted the bulk of the middle class, were absorbed either 
into the upper or lower classes, or died out. There is 
nothing remarkable in the history of the rest of Ireland 
which would account for so great a change. 

In Ulster the original clan name " M'Mahon" has 
suffered most, though the disappearance of the name is 
of more recent date than is the case with most of the 
other Ulster clansmen. It seems as if the struggle to 
keep the old name only led to a more complete change 
when the change did come. We find, in fact, that long 
after the settlement of their territory (West Oirgial, or 
Monaghan) by the strangers, nearly all the people were 
called by the old name. Now, however, a small pro- 
portion of the present inhabitants of the County 
Monaghan can establish their connection with the Clan 
M'Mahon. 

In any district where many persons of the same name 
live, the inhabitants, for distinction sake, add an additional 
name to those already in existence. In Celtic Ireland, 
where the tendency is to adopt patronymics, most of 



40 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

these distinctions are made by the addition of the 
paternal Christian name. When, therefore, three out 
of every five people in these districts bore the names of 
the old clans, every man when spoken of was called 
only by his own name and his father's Christian name, 
and while Irish was still spoken by the people, the 
prefix " Mac" or " 0" was added. In penal times, 
and while the people were illiterate, the original name 
fell into disuse, and after a generation or two it was 
forgotten altogether. 

In this way we have many of the M'Ardles (sons of 
Ardle, or Ardgal, M'Mahon, O'Neill, or O'Donnell, etc.) ; 
M'lvers (sons of Eaver, Iver, or Hebher; M'Mahon, 
O'Reilly, O'Neill, O'Donovan, etc.) ; O'Connor (descen- 
dants of Connor M'Mahon, O'Neill, or O'Donnell, etc.) ; 
O'Brien (descendants of Bryan M'Mahon, Maguire, 
O'Neill or O'Donnell, etc.) ; M'Dermott (sons of Dermott 
M'Mahon) ; M'Shane (sons of Shan or John O'Neill) ; 
M'Donnell or O'Donnell (sons or descendants of Dhonal 
M'Mahon, O'Neill, or O'Reilly) ; M'Rory (sons of Rory 
O'Cahan, M'Kenna, etc.) ; O'Counelly (sons of Connell 
O'Hanlon, O'Neill, etc.); M'Toal (sons of Toal orToghill 
M'Mahon); Ross (son of Ross M'Mahon, M'Donnell, 
etc.) Several M'Mahons changed their names to 
Hughes, Owens, and Donaghy, etc. The transition 
being M'Aodh M'Mahon, Anglicised into M'Hugh — the 
M'Mahon at the end and the " Mac" before Hughes 
being dropped ; while M'Oine M'Mahon was Anglicised 
into M'Owen and M'Mahon, and "Mac" before Owen 
dropped; M'Donough M'Mahon was Anglicised into 
Donaghy. There is a tendency in Ulster to add "s" or 
"y" to names which was very manifest in these instances. 
I am far from saying that all those who bear these names 
are descendants of M'Mahons, O'Neills, O'Donnells, or 
other leading Ulster septs, for there were clans bearing 
some of these names in Monaghan and the north, e.g. — 
M'Ardle, O'Connolly, and M'Donnell, and there were 
many patriotic Irishmen of some of these names from 
other parts of Ireland, who came to Ulster for protec- 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 41 

tion during troubled times, when this district was com- 
paratively free, while a few others may have settled 
more recently, but these latter are the exception. 

According to a recent Government return, it appears 
that of the births registered in the Co. Monaghan in 
1890, represent the following names and numbers: 
Duffy, 38; Connolly, 36 ; M'Mahon, 33; M'Kenna, 32 ; 
Hughes, 25 ; Murphy, 24 ; M'Cabe, 22 ; Martin, 19 ; 
Smith, 19 ; Kelly, 18 ; Quinu, 18 ; Maguire, 17 ; Murray, 
17 ; Woods, 14. 

Next to the patronymic we find used a matronymic, 
by which the mother's maiden name was used, e.g. — 
M'Bride, O'Dhowna. Again we find some distinction 
from the appearance, such as Roe or M'Enroe (Ruadh 
— red), M'Colreavey (Colreavey — gray), etc. ; and some 
from the occupation Smythe (from Gowan, a smith), 
and Ward (from M'Bard, or M'Ward, the Bard), etc. 

In the barony of Trough, Co. Monaghan, we have 
seen the same thing happen to the M'Kennas, M'Elmeels, 
and O'Treanors, but luckily for the prevalence of these 
names, the people became educated before they quite 
forgot the older name, aad the addition only remained 
a distinctive mark, and changed with each generation 
according to the Christian name of the bearer's father. 
In a few instances in Trough the original names appear 
to have been lost. 

Some names in their Anglicised form bear strong 
resemblance to Scottish names, similarly Anglicised ; 
for Scotland suffers from North-Britonism, as Ireland 
does from West-Britonism. As examples of these we 
have M'Callum, Scottish, and M'Cumbhel (M'Cowal), 
Irish, Anglicised into Campbell ; M'Kay, Scottish, and 
M'Coey, Irish, Anglicised into Mackey ; M'Murray, 
Scottish, and O'Muireadhaigh (O'Murray), Irish, Angli- 
cised into Murray. The most disastrous change and 
most degrading to ourselves, and to our country, is the 
Anglicising of our surnames. Centuries ago the English 
" proclaimed" by law our Irish names, and our fathers 
then held fast to the old Celtic forms, but to their sons' 



42 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

disgrace, be it said, we are losing fast the national dis- 
tinction indicated by the ancient surnames bequeathed 
to us. 

The M'Mahons, who crossed the Pale, and settled in 
Louth and Meath, became Matthews, Mahon being 
supposed to be the Irish of Matthew. Of the other 
changes some merely dropped the " Mac" or " 0" which, 
was prefixed to every Irish name, such as Connolly, 
Conlan, Donnelly, Marron, Mullan, Mulligan, Kelly, 
Gormly, Corley, Brady, Boyle, Brien, Hanlon, and 
Dermott. 

Some have made a change which is supposed to be a 
translation of the surname, but which in most cases is 
nothiug of the kind, but merely some fanciful change, 
e.g. :— 

M'Rory to Rogers M'Gowan to Smith 

M'Gilly to Cox M'Girr to Short 

M'Ashanagh to Fox M'Quillan to Holly 

M'Atilla to Flood O'Cunneen to Rabitt 

M'Aree to King M'Quirk to Oats 

M'Geehan to Wynne M'Shane to Johnson 

O'Banane to White M'Loone to Monday 

M'Cullogh to Boar M'Eneaney to Bird 

M'Crann to Wrenn M'Brenaghy to Judge 

M'Adarragh to Oaks M'Corrig to Rocks 

M'Glashan to Green M'Uisk to Watters 

M'Kiltogh to Small M'Alivery to Winter 

M'Gorra to Weir O'Duny to Black 

M'Lave to Hand M'Scollosh to Farmer 
M'Bannan to White 



'&■ 



Some have changed from an Irish name to another 
more easily pronounced by English-speaking people, e.g. 
— Soraghan to Sullivan ; M'Sweeney and Sweeny, to 
M'Aweeny and Weeny ; Muckle-breed to M'Bride ; 
M'Cadden or Muckeedan to Cadden; M'Daide to 
M'Devitt or Davitt ; Cunnier to Connor ; Bryan to 
Crossan; O'Hara to O'Harran ; M'Gill-Meehul to 
M'Elmeel, and M'Cormilla to Gormly. But by far the 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 



43 



greater number have been Anglicised without any ap- 
parent reason for the change. Among these we find: — 



MAlinden to Lundy or 

Linden 
M'Killian to M' Allen, 

Allison, etc. 
McAllister to M'Lester, 

Allister, and Lister 
M'Gill-Bride to M'Bride 

and Brides 
M'Caffery to Beatty 
M'Carrell to Mackarell 
M'Carthy to Fortune 
M'Cawell or ) . n , „ 
M'Cool / t0 Cam P be11 
M'Cavill to M'Caulfield, 
Caulfield, 
and Campbell 
M'Cumeskey to Comerford 
M'Cousnamha to Ford 
M'Cusker to Cosgrove 
M'Dade to Davis or 

Davidson 
M'Donneil to Daniel 
M'Gill-Downey to Downey 
M'Ginnity to Gaynor 
M'Givern to Bickerstaff and 
Montgomery 
M'Glew to M'Cloud 
M'Goldrick to Goodwin, 

Golden, or Golding 
M'Guigan to Pidgeon 
M'Rory to Rogers 
M'Hugh to Hewson 
M'Keown to Caulfield or 

Johnston 
O'Guilsheuagh to Nugent 

and Gilson 
O'Gill Hoogley to Gollogly 
and Ingolsby 



M'Rostig to Roach 
O'Horrican to Summers 
M'Evely to Stanton 
O'Dea to Goodwin or Godkin 
O'Driscoll to Hyde 
O'Carolan to Cavlin and 

Carle ton 
M'Brenagh to Walsh 
O'Foody or O'Gastha to 

Swift or Speed 
M'Cavish, M'Tavish to 

Thompson 
O'Toghill to Toal 
M'Naboe to Victory 
M'Toorish to Walters 
O'Canavan to Whitehead 
O'Skinnader to Kennedy 
M'Cenebhan ] 

or > to Whitehead 

M'Canavan J 
O'Helan to AV r helan 
M'Lenaghan to Lennard 
M'Manus to Mayneor Mains 
M'Quaid to Wade 
M'Sharry to Foley or Sherry 
M'Taghlin to Heuston 
M'Tague to Montague 
O'Foohey to Rush 
O'Malmona to Moss 
O'Muldowna ) to Downey 

or > or 

M'Gill Downa I Dawney 
O'Molloy to Slowey or Sloy 
O'Muracha to Murphy 
O'Neill to Nelson 
O'Hay to Hayes 
O'Cussave to Patterson 
M'Polin to Poland 



44 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

M'Gilfoil to Powell O'Dreenan ) _ . 

O'Shearhoon to Penders or M'Skean J t0 inornton 

Prendergast M'Moghan to Vaughan 

M'Quillau to Holly or M'Avinchy to Vincent 

Goodwin O'Mournane to Warren 

O'Creagh and ) to Rea or M'Gilligan to White 

O'Raw j Wray Quilkan to Wilkinson 

M'Gronan ) ^ , M'llhone to Wood 

O'Ronaghan / to -K^ 1101 ^ O'Parrican or ) to Fitz- 

M'Giltinane ) Q , MacGillPatrick } patrick 

O'Shanaghan J t0 fenannon M'Guagey to Hackett 

M'Astoker to Stafford M'Bachal to Crozier 

O'Summachan to Summerly M'Enery to Henry 

and Summers Trin Lavery to Armstrong 

O'Claveen to Swords M'Beggan to Little 

O'Gormly to Grimes and O'Muldoon to M'Dowell 

Graham M'Quillan to Goodwin and 

M'Williams 

Within the Pale, and in parts of Munster, many of 
the betaghs took up the name of the first English lords, 
e.g., Fitzgeralds, Barrys, etc. Thoughts such as these 
naturally suggest the possibility of the restoration of our 
national nomenclature. Of course there are many 
obstacles — first, a great many people who now bear 
names which were Anglicised by their ancestors, and 
who would wish to have their old names restored, find 
themselves so much tied down to their English forms, 
in the number and variety of important places in which 
they have them written, that it is almost hopeless to 
think of trying. The best means to adopt is for the 
rising generation to add the Irish form between the 
Christian and surnames, e.g., two brothers, Patrick 
Smyth and John Smyth, might write their names 
Patrick M'Gowan Smith and John M/Gowan Smith; 
Bernard Eogers and James Rogers might write Bernard 
M'Rory Rogers and James M'Rory Rogers. By this 
means the English form might perhaps be dropped as 
the next generation grew to manhood. The registration 
of a marriage or a birth with both names would enable 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 45 

a name to be traced. The second great obstacle is 
ignorance, or rather, that sort of ignorance which is 
described by a " little learning," and which induces its 
victims to Anglicise their names because they think the 
Irish form is not respectable. To such people as these 
real national education has come too late, and the only 
hope in their cases is that the next generation may be 
better educated. The last and greatest obstacle is 
snobbery. This vice is rapidly decaying, but while it 
flourished it degraded our country more than Coercion 
Acts. The Irish snobs, a rapidly diminishing class, 
were never contented unless when imitating some 
Bodagh amongst the local landocracy, and never happy 
unless in the company of planters or the descendants of 
English settlers. Many a good old name and many an 
historic record was sacrificed to these contemptible pre- 
tensions. Honest Bryan M'Gowan's son should become 
Mr. Bernardo Smythe ; Fardoraugha M'Coey becomes 
Ferdinand Mackay ; Mogue M'Aree becomes Moses 
King; while Bridget or Bridheen Murphy becomes 
Bedelia Morphy, and Sheelagh O'Lavery becomes Betty 
Armstrong. 

The only consolation we have is that Irish folks with 
these absurd names seldom make their mark or reach 
any distinction in the world. In vain do we scan the 
lists of eminent Irishmen or Irishwomen for Alfred, 
Ernest, Albert, Frederick, Alfonso, and Amelia, Maud, 
Victoria, etc. The explanation is simple enough. The 
parents who are capable of rendering their children 
ridiculous by having them christened by new-fangled 
names have very little of the stuff that men and women 
are made of to transmit to their children, while at the 
same time they are incapable of bringing them up to 
fight their way in the nineteenth century. 

At the risk of departing a little out of my course I 
shall wind up this paper with the changes in Irish 
Christian names to which English equivalents have 
been given : — 



46 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 



Bryan ( to Bernard 

and < or 

Brandubh ( Bernardo 

Concobhar to Connor 

Torlough to Terence 

Dermot, \ 

Diarmid, ( . T • u 
-, ' >to Jeremiah 
and i 

Darby J 

Shamus to James 

( Owen 
Eoin to < and 

( Eugene 

Aodh to Hugh 

Conn to Constantine 

Eachy to Archy 

•n j -u ( Ferdinand 

h ardorough J 

t0 ( Frederick 

Eaver to Heber 
Cathal 
Cathaoir 
Cahal, or 
Cormac 

/ Shibby 

Sheelagh to < ' 



to Charles 



or 
Elizabeth 



Shane to John 

Aimon } to Edvrard 

or > and 

Eamon J Edmond 

Magsheesh,) M 

Mogue ) 

( Felix 

Phelim to < and 

( Philip 

Art to Arthur 

C Cornelius 

Niall to-^ and 

( Neal 

Finian to Florence 

Manus to Manasses 

( Roderick 

Rory to < or 

( Roger 

Davoc to David 

( Bridget 

Brideen to<J and 

( Bedelia 

Daunagh to Dympna 

( Susan 

Shovan to < or 

( Johanna 

Feber to Phoebe 

^ i f to Winnefred 
Oonagh 1 A 

or -< 
tt J ° r 

Una ( Ann* 

Ailbhin ("to Ellen 

or < or 

Eileen ( Eleanor 

Maev to Matilda 



Te T S a U d y ° r } t0Tim0thy 
Fionnghula to Penelope 

Muirteach to Mortimer 

Ardle to Arnold 

Doxy *° Daniei 

Donough to Denis 

The derivations of some of the old Irish Christian 
names are very interesting. Aodh (pronounced Ee), 
signifies fire; Aongus (pronounced Angus), derived 
from Aon, excellent, and gus, strength ; Ardgal (pro- 
nounced Ardle), from ard, exalted, and gal, valour ; 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 47 

Art, from Art, noble ; Bryan, from Bri, strength, and 
an, very great; Brandwbh signifies black raven; 
Gathal, from Gath, a battle, and all, great ; Cathaoir, 
from Cath, a battle, and or, slaughter ; Cormac signifies 
son of the chariot, a charioteer, from Corb, a chariot, 
and Mac, a son ; Conn, from Gu (genitive con), a 
hound ; Gonall signifies friendship ; ConchobhoyV (Oon- 
coo-var), from Con, a warrior, and Cobhair, aid ; 
Domioch (Donough), Bonn, brown ; Gu, a hound ; 
Dairmaid, or Dermott, from Diel, a god ; Armaid, of 
arms ; Eochiaidh, Eochy, from Each or Eoch, a steed ; 
Eogan (Eoin) signifies a youthful warrior ; Feidhlim 
(Phelim) signifies great hospitality or great goodness ; 
Muircheartach (Murthagh), from Muir, the sea, and 
Eadhach, a protector, e. g., an admiral ; Niall, from 
Niadh, a champion or mailed knight, and all, noble. 

In female names we find Bebinn, from Be, a woman, 
and Binn, melodious ; Barrdubb, from Barr, the hair, 
and Dubh (duv), black; Feithfailge, a honey-suckle of 
ringlets ; Fionnghuala, from Fionn, white, and Guala, 
shoulders; Bredeen, a brilliant dart ; and Eileen, apple 
mouthed. 

There are some who think that nationality consists 
in hatred of our country's enemies, while others con- 
sider they have discharged their duty to their native 
land by toasting the prosperity of Ireland and hurrahing 
for the green flag. However, we must remember that 
for centuries our enemies have used every effort to 
destroy Ireland's national characteristics. In modern 
times the so-called National system of education, which 
destroyed our native language, has, under cover of the 
lessons which its earlier school books contained, sapped 
at the root of everything Irish. 

There is much more to be done for Ireland after the 
restoration of our native Legislature than mere material 
advancement. There is hardly a national characteristic 
which has not been attacked in some way. The old 
Irish dress was suppressed by law centuries ago ; so also 
was the mode of wearing our beards and hair. Our 



48 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

native music first, and afterwards our national songs, 
all suffered. Our national language is melting away, 
and with it are going our old songs, stories, and folk- 
lore, to be replaced by English music hall ditties, trashy 
novels, and "Ally Sloper" literature. 

Before it is too late let us make an effort to retain or 
revive our Irish names — some of the very few remnants 
left to Irishmen of older Ireland. Irishmen, the world 
over, should get together every scrap of evidence that 
might throw light on their ancient story, in order that 
we who are the heirs of that story may " recast for the 
future the greatness of the past." 



CHAPTER IV. 

LOCAL GEOGRAPHY AND TOPOGRAPHY. 

Our daily avocations often bring us through adjoining 
townlands and parishes, the names of which are com- 
pletely unintelligible to most of us, and over roads 
and lanes, about the origin of which we know little or 
nothing. Now our object in this paper is to show 
that there is a good deal of interesting local history to 
be obtained from a knowledge of the meaning of these 
names ; while at the same time, giving some curious 
information about the origin of the roads and lanes of 
our native parish; and though the subjects are not so 
interesting as those treated in former papers, still there 
are many things to interest us in glancing over the 
map of our native parish. 

In previous Chapters I have treated of the names of 
our town and county, and made occasional allusion to 
old roads ; in this I will treat of the topography of our 
neighbouring townlands and parishes, and examine 
more minutely into our highways and byways. 

First let us take the Bally boes or townlands around 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 49 

our town. Mullaghmona^haii either means Monashan's 
hill, or The Hill of " Muineachan." Rooskey, which means 
a marsh or morass, has probably lost some other syllables 
which would make the name more intelligible. Tir- 
keenan, Keenan's land ; who this Keenan was or when 
he lived is a complete mystery to us. Aghananimy, the 
Field of the Butter, from Acad, a field, and ime, butter. 
Annahagh, the kiln of the marsh, from Armagh, a marsh, 
and hagh, a kiln. Bellanagall, the mouth of the ford 
of the strangers, Belatha, the mouth of the ford, and 
n-gall, the foreigners. Carrickanoran, the rock of the 
cold spring, from Carraic, a rock, Fuarain, cold spring. 
Castleshane, John's Castle. Coolmain, Middle Corner, 
Cool, a corner, and meadain, middle. Coolshannagh, 
the fox cover, seanac, foxes. Corlat, the round hill of 
the monument, Cor, a hill, and Leact, a monument. Cor- 
nacassagh, the round hill of the keshes or little bridges : 
Corness, the round hill of the cataract; Cornamunady, the 
round hill of the long shrubbery ; Drumbear, the ridge 
of the shaving ; Drumhirk, the ridge of the boar, Tore, 
a bore ; Dunsinair, Sinar's earthen fort ; Feragh, grassy ; 
Gallanagh, white marsh ; Killygowan, the smith's 
wood; Killy vane, the white church or woods ; Kilnacloy, 
the wood of the stone, or the stone church ; Knockna- 
turley, the hill of the dried-up lough (i.e., the Winter 
lough). 

Latlurcan, Lorcan's or Laurence's Monument. 

Legnacreeve, the Hollow of the Bush. In a hollow 
in an old bush in this townland was an altar on which 
Mass used to be celebrated during the penal times. In 
1705 the parish priest, Rev. James Duffy, resided there. 
He was ordained by Dr. Tyrrell, Bishop of Clogher, in the 
reign of King James II. Liseraw, the fort of the fort ; 
Mullaghadun, the hill of the fort; Dud, a fortified fort, 
or fortified kingly residence ; Mullaghmat, the withered 
summit ; Rakeeragb, the fort of the sheep ; Rarnanny, 
the fort of the monks ; Rackwallace, the Rath or fore 
of the sons of Malus ; Sheetrim, fairy hill ; Tandragee, 
the hill of the winds ; Ban and Brack, white and 

D 



50 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

spotted are added to distinguish the two townlands of 
that name. Tamlat, a plague burial ground ; Tiravray, 
the land of judgment ; Tully, a hill ; Tullyard, the high 
hill; Tullyhirm, the dry hill; and Tully leer, Lir's hill; 
Uribalkirk, the hen's tail ; Scarnageeragh, the shallow 
ford of the sheep ; Glasslough, the Green Lake ; Bally- 
bay, the ford mouth of the birch. The names of some 
of these places are explained by the appearance of the 
land ; others are derived from lakes, and marshes, and 
woods, drained, reclaimed, or cut down centuries ago, 
while others take their names from long-forgotten people 
and stories. 

• In the names of the parishes, there is much more 
to guide us. Tydavnet, Teigh-Damnad — St. Dympna's 
House, called in Irish, Downa, Downey, Davna, and 
Davnet. She was abbess of an old monastery, which 
she founded near the old graveyard of Tydavnet, where 
a little church was built and dedicated to her. She 
had to fly from the rage of her infidel and incestuous 
father, who pursued her through Cavan, Leitrim, and 
Mayo to the sea, over which she fled to Gheel, in Bel- 
gium, where she founded another convent, but was 
discovered and martyred by her father. The late Most 
Rev. Dr. Donnelly got her appointed Patroness of this 
diocese by the present Pope. There is a statue to her 
outside the south Transept of St. Macartan's Cathedral, 
Monaghan, and a stained glass window commemorating 
events in her Jife, in St. Benedict Joseph Labre's Chapel, 
in the Cathedral, erected by the Very Rev. Canon 
O'Connor. Her Shrine at Gheel is much venerated, and 
visited by those suffering from mental diseases. Her 
Crozier or Bach all is preserved in the Royal Irish 
Academy. It was called the Bahall Dhownagh, and was 
used for swearing people on when disputes arose in 
commercial transactions. 

Errigle Trough — Trough means a cantred or district, 
and Errigle, a small church. St. Mallin was the founder. 

Donagh — The full name is Domnach-Maighe-da- 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 51 

Chlaione, the church of the plain of the two slopes. 
This church was founded by St. Patrick himself. Almost 
every place St. Patrick founded a church has Domnach 
(Donagh), which means Sunday, connected with its 
name, because St. Patrick founded these churches on 
the Sabbath. 

Tyhallen, Teach-Talaiu, St. Killen's House — St. 
Killen was consecrated Bishop, and placed in Tyhallen 
by St. Patrick. 

Kilmore or Kilmoreacdhan, Cil-mor-Adhain — The 
church of St. Aedhan Mac Angus, who died in the year 

Drumsnatt, Druain — Snechtha, the hill of the snow. 
The people of this district wanted a church, and they 
went to St. Teirnagh (Tierney) to Clones, to consult 
him as to the site. He told them to return, and pray 
that God would show them a place to build a church, at 
the same time ordaining St. Molua Mac Oche (M'Greough) 
their priest. After having prayed for some days, they 
discovered, on arising one morning, that the top of 
Drumsnatt was covered with snow, though all the sur- 
rounding fields were green, the time being midsummer. 
Now they took this so unusual occurrence as a sign from 
heaven, and forthwith proceeded, under St. Molua's 
directions, to build their church on the spot.* 

It is a remarkable fact that this is the only ancient 
graveyard in this neighbourhood on which the Protes- 
tants did not lay hold. Though the old church has long 
since disappeared — not a stone upon a stone of it has 
been left — still the graveyard has always remained in the 
possession of the Catholic people of Drumsnatt and the 
surrounding parishes. 

Tullycorbet, Tulach-Carpaith — The hill of the chariot, 
so called from St. Patrick's chariot having broken down 
here. 

* An attempt was made a few years ago to assert some private 
ownership in the graveyard of Drumsnatt, but it was successfully 
resisted by Rev. Thomas Duffy, then C.C. of the parish. Both he 
and the writer have a very special interest in the incident. 



52 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

Clones, Cluain-Eois, Eos's meadow. — Eos was a pagan 
chief. Here St. Tighernach founded the great abbey of Ss. 
Peter and Paul, and in it he died on 4th April, 548. In this 
abbey was preserved the great relic known as "the Donagh," 
Domnach-Airgid, a case of precious metals which con- 
tained, in addition to many relics, a Latin copy of the 
Gospels in Irish characters, which once belonged to St. 
Patrick himself. According to some authorities, St. 
Patrick brought this book from the Pope, and presented 
it to St. Macartan on his consecration to the See of Clogher; 
while, according to other authorities, it was dictated 
by St. Patrick to St. Macartan, in whose handwriting 
the book is said to be. It is probable, if the front page 
could be found, it would contain St. Patrick's imprimatur 
in his own handwriting. 

The Abbey of Clones flourished until its lands, pro- 
perty, and buildings were stolen by the soldiers and 
favourites of Queen Elizabeth. 

Clontibret, Cluain-Tobraid. — The meadow of the 
spring. The church and parish were founded by St. 
Macolmag or Colman. 

The next branch of this subject takes me to the roads 
leading to and from our native town. Nothing is so 
hard as to form an accurate idea of the map of this 
district at any fixed date, for the roads passing through our 
county were being constantly altered, changed, widened, 
narrowed, or closed, so as to render it almost hopeless 
to follow the course of any of the older roads. The 
first road we find any definite trace of, was the old 
military road from Derry to Dublin. There is reason 
to believe it was made about the time of Elizabeth on 
the site of an older trade road from Tara to Derry- 
Columbkill. This old road entered the county over a 
ford of the Blackwater — called in olden times the Avon- 
more Great River, because it was the largest river in 
the district through which it passed — near Aughnacloy 
between Tully and Aughaderry, where the river is still 
fordable, passed close to where the "old road" now runs 
through May and Mullnacross, until it reached Errigle old 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 53 

church ; it continued on to Monaghan. The present old 
road often runs in the exact place, but in most places it 
has been slightly diverted to avoid hills, etc. However, 
it is almost identical with the road past Lamb's lake 
through Coolshannagh, past the Barrack into the town. 
It left the town at James Martin's entry, over the Pound 
Hill, Gallows Hill, through Tirkeenan, to the north of 
Aughaninimy Lough, past the old parish chapel, through 
Ballynagaul, Drumhirk, Corness (where it is now crossed 
by the Castleblayney road), and passed over Carrick- 
anoran hill, into Tullycorbet. It is cut again by the 
broad road (to Ballybay), passes near Tullycorbet church, 
over the hills, until it descends from Drumroosk into 
the parish of Cloatibret. It is crossed by the Great 
Northern Railway half-way between Castleblayney and 
Ballybay, and near the same place by the broad road 
and the old road between the same two towns. It runs 
close to the east wall of All Saints' Church, and proceeds 
straight southward near Lough Eagish into Carrickma- 
cross. 

When the coaches began to run, it was found that 
these old roads were most inconvenient, both as to the 
hills and the narrowness, and alterations were made in 
many roads, and new pieces were added here and there. 
About the middle of the last century the mail coach 
from Dublin to Derry was changed to the road which 
ran from Castleblayney to Aughnacloy, almost over the 
same road that runs now from Blayney to Castleshane, 
through the main street of the old town of Castleshane, 
which ran from where the castle now stands, down to 
where the roads from Blayney and Rackwallace now 
meet for Monaghan, then to the right of the present 
road, near Knockbwee fair green, between Cam and Lis- 
carney, passed the "Hand and Pen" over the Black water 
at Faulkland, over the hill behind Faulkland ; is crossed 
by the Great Northern Railway near Billis National 
School, through the east side of Donagh, through Grange, 
until it crossed the Blackwater at Mullnahornbridge. 
between Mullinure (Grange) and Tully. The people of 



54 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

Monaghan who wanted to go to Dublin bad to meet tbe 
coach at Castleshane. The road to Castleshane ran 
through Latlurcan, behind Corlat, to the north of the 
present road, where it is still used as a lane, until it 
entered the street of Castleshane. Thus the old town of 
Castleshane became one of considerable importance. 

The people of Monaghan got a coach for themselves. 
It passed through Ballybay, passed Te Tappa Mills, 
through Dunrayrnond until it met the old Co. Cavan 
road, passed Liseraw, Knockaturley, Uriblekirk, Shee- 
trim, through Drumbear, over Far-Meehul bridge, which 
is still to be seen near the writer's residence, over Tully 
hill, and into the town between the Convent and the 
Lake. A good deal of business was done between 
Aughnacloy and Monaghan ; so the old road was im- 
proved and altered in several places, and Moy bridge 
built. It was about that time the traffic was turned 
into the village of Scarnageeragh, now Emyvale. The 
only road to the parish of Tydavnet passed from the 
town close to where it is now, until it leaves it near the 
Manse along the lane at the foot of Mrs. Deighan's fields, 
through Cornacassa demesne. There is a little bridge 
still standing some distance to the north of the County 
road between Gallinagh and Lisbristlen. There was no 
road past the end of High Street, but a footpath from 
Milltown, which was then only a small corn mill, and a 
few houses approached from the town from the end of 
Glasslough Street. The road to Clones went along the 
Pound, through Mullamatt, and over the hills close to 
the present road; parts of it are identical near Smithboro' ; 
the road to Glasslough began at Bally albany, where it 
turned to the east off the Aughnacloy road, and went 
by the back of St. Macartan's Seminary. This 
road still exists and is a good road the whole way to 
Glasslough at present. The way to Armagh was an 
old road through Knockbwee to Middletown ; it left 
Monaghan to the east from the Pound Hill down 
Annahagh Lane, and along what is still called the old 
Armagh road. 



C f 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. OO 

Thus were the roads when the Irish Parliament in 
1777 ordered a survey, and from the completion of that 
survey up to within a few years of the Union, improve- 
ments were being made year by year, which rendered 
the transit of the mail coach easier. Amongst the princi- 
pal changes was the widening of the old Armagh road, 
and its being brought into the town where it now runs ; 
alterations of the Aughnacloy road, and the road 
between Castleblayney and Castleshane. For a few 
years before the Union the great scheme for making 
new roads was suspended ; but in 1806, by order of the 
Postmaster-General, the schemes were put to work. The 
first road started was to Clones, to accommodate the 
mail coach which ran from Enniskillen to Belfast. 
Portions were begun through Mullaghadun,Mullacroghery, 
Knockconean, and Tullygraham. In 1813-14 it was 
extended to Tullybryan and Brandrum. In 1822 the 
part from Brandrum to Skeagh was completed, and in 
1825 it was brought through Oarrowbarrow, whence the 
old road had been so much improved some years before 
as not to require a new one. The next road made was 
the new road to Aughnacloy in 1806. It was made 
through Dernagrew, CoolkilJ, Mullabrack, Legacurry, 
and Drumcam, in 1811 ; through Coolshannagh in to- 
wards the town, then through Mullmurphy, Killnadreen, 
Dernagrew, Coolkill, Tirnaneil, Enagh, and Mullabrack, 
forty-four feet wide. In 1811 an old road was widened, 
and new portions of the road made from Scarnageeragh to 
Aughnacloy, and in 1812 it was brought to Dheariugh's 
bridge. It 1805 a new road was begun to GJasslough 
by widening an old lane through Drumrutagh and Tully- 
hirm. It was continued in 1809 near Scroggy's Bridge. 
Some time between 181 1 and 1820 the road was joined to 
the Aughnacloy road where it joins it now. In 1820-21 
it was extended to the Silver Stream, through Cavan- 
reagh, Croghey, Corbeg, Cavally, and Tyravera ; but it 
was not until 1834 that it was fully finished into Glass- 
lough. 

The new road to Armagh and Middletown began in 



56 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

1809 by branching off the old road at Cavanreagh, through 
Tullynure, Tullylush and Tehallan Glebe. It was con- 
tinued in 1815 through Kildoagh, Killaneil, Leitrim, 
Killeiff and Tamlat. Soon after it was joined to the 
new Glasslough road, and got its finishing touch in 1825. 
In 1810, when a good portion of the new Aughnacloy 
road had been made, it was thought advisable to make 
a good coach road from Monaghan to Castleblayney, 
and to transfer the Dublin and Derry mail to it, and 
the broad road was begun through Killyvane, Tamlat, 
Rakeeragh, Dunaldron, Carrickanoran, Beagb, Crosses, 
Greaghglass, Ardaghy, Lisleitrim, Rackwallace, etc. In 

1812 the road was made up the Glen and along from 
the Mall. In 1813 it was altered to its present position 
in Tamlat, Dunaldron, Carrickanoran and Greaghglass ; 
and in 1814 it was altered to its present position in 
Ardaghy, Killyvane, Lisleitrim, etc. lu 1813 the road 
over the hill was begun through Mullaghadun ; and in 

1813 went through Mullaghmore Crosses and Drumghost, 
past Raconnell until it came in on the old Tydavnet 
road. In 1814 the present Newbliss road was made 
through Tullygraham, Gortakeehan, Killycushil to back 
gate of the park, then along the old road to Killeevan, 
over an old bridge through Clonavarn, Drumaclan, 
Carnlough,Crumlin,etc. In 1823 the road to Ballybay was 
made from the new Castleblayney road through Corvoy, 
Cordoolough, Leggacurry, Mullan, Drummar and Corfad; 
and in 1824 through Drumcar and Braddocks. All these 
roads brought a considerable traffic through Monaghan, 
and in 1826 it was found that Glasslough Street was 
then too narrow, so a Methodist preaching house and 
an old school were knocked down in Mill Street, be- 
tween Mr. M'Gurk's corner and Mr. Hanna's corner, and 
the road made which is now called North Street. It 
joined the public walks behind where the Railway 
Station now is, but never was continued. The coach 
ran only for a short time this way. The old houses 
which partially blocked Glasslough Street have long 
since gone. In 1823 the road was made to Rosslea 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 57 

by connecting the Clones road with another road at 
Annyerley. In 1827 the present road was made to 
Castleshane through Killagnearly, Ballinagall, Moyles, 
Listrahegney, etc., until it entered the street of the old 
town of Castleshane. In 1828 the road to Scotstown 
was improved, and in 1832, '34, and '35 it was further 
improved, and the road to Enniskillen was considerably 
improved, and a great deal of a new road added through 
the long hollow. In 1830 — '32 the Clogher road was 
made. The last of these leading roads finished was to 
Keady, which began in 1832, and was not concluded 
until 1838. 

The Ulster Canal came in 1832. 

These roads brought a considerable amount of busi- 
ness, and some wealth and prosperity to Monaghan. 
But in the Fifties the railway came, and it has been 
drawing off all our industries, prosperity, wealth, and 
even our very people to such an extent as to make a 
true Irishman sigh for the days of the old slow coach. 



CHAPTER V. 

THE "UNION" IN MONAGHAN. 

After the failure of the United Irishmen in '98, the 
spirit of Nationality seems to have slept in our country, 
and during this sleep the Agitation for the Union began. 
Several addresses were issued in our county, pointing 
out the advantages of a Union with England. Every 
blandishment that could be thought of was urged on 
every class, in every county in Ireland, and Monaghan 
among the rest. But to the credit of our Protestant 
fellow-countrymen they almost unanimously went on 
the side of Ireland against the Union. The borough of 
Monaghan had already been sold by General Cunning- 



58 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

ham to Castlereagh for the title of Rossmore, and its 
two members, Westenra and Fortescue, voted away their 
country's freedom amid the most contemptible gang 
that ever disgraced a nation. In every division these 
hireling traitors walked at the tail of Castlereagh. As it 
was known their votes had already been bought and 
paid for, no notice was taken of them either in or out of 
the county. But as to the county members, Charles P. 
Leslie and Richard Dawson, much interest was attached. 
They were both independent gentlemen, and faithfully 
represented their constituents. Mr. Leslie, like many 
of his family, was a silent member, but Mr. Dawson was 
witty and eloquent, and both in Parliament and out of 
it, spoke out like a true Irishman against the Union. 
In January 1799 several debates took place on the 
Union in the Irish House of Commons ; two divisions 
on 22nd and 24th of that month were gone through, 
in both of which the Government of Castlereagh was 
defeated, and in both divisions the members for the 
County of Monaghan voted against Castlereagh. A 
great meeting of the freeholders, all Protestant, of the Co. 
Monaghan, called and presided over by the High Sheriff, 
Mr. Hawkshaw, was held in Monaghan, on Monday, 28th 
January. Several hundreds of freeholders from all 
parts of the county attended, and an address to the 
two county members, thanking them for defending 
the liberty and legislative independence of the country 
in the House of Commons was carried amid great 
enthusiasm, with but thirty-three dissentients. 

The real leaders of the Irish Catholics had been all 
"banished or slain" in 1798, though a pair of Dublin 
Catholics, named Bel lew and Lynch, took upon them- 
selves the leadership of their co-Religionists, and 
negotiated with Castlereagh for the Union. But some 
Catholics in Dublin had the courage to hold a meeting, 
and voice the sentiments of their Catholic fellow-couutry- 
men. At this meeting, an almost unknown young man 
made a rather remarkable speech, condemnatory of the 
proposed Union. This young man was afterwards des- 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 59 

tined to lead the Irish race, and to leave marks on the 
character of his country which long years and the 
march of learning have failed to eradicate, and to write 
indelibly on the pages of Irish history his name — Daniel 
O'Connell. 

The Catholics of Monaghan had no leader ; the failure 
of '98 had crushed the manhood out of the whole genera- 
tion. We were not then, nor have we since, been 
cursed with a 'Cawtholic' snobocracy, to form a body 
sufficiently strong to have any sort of representative 
voice either for or against the Union. So the voice of 
the Catholics of Monaghan for or against the Union was 
not heard. 

The Protestant voters of Monaghan remained true to 
Ireland, as did also our county members. During one 
of the debates on the Union, the following interesting 
speech was made by Mr. Dawson. 

It was delivered on a motion made by Lord Corry 
against the Union, and the strong points in it were 
made in defence of the Bight Hon. John Foster, the 
Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, who fought 
hard against the Union. The " Noble Lord" referred 
to is Castlereagh. 

" Sir — I rise for the purpose of defending the country 
gentlemen of Ireland. I cannot sit quietly in my seat 
and hear that body of men, of whom I am proud to call 
myself one, treated with such illiberality and contempt ! 
Out of the House, or in the House, or somewhere or 
other — I dreamt in my sleep, or, possibly, I fancied in 
my cups — but sure I am, Mr. Speaker, that body of men 
who support the country and who support the throne, 
called a cabal, a faction, and charged with entertaining 
French principles ! Sure I am, that I have heard it 
said that they have enlisted themselves under leaders 
they cannot raise to their level, though they may sink to 
theirs. Such an assertion, Sir, is illiberal, unfounded, and 
untrue, and it comes doubly ungracious, proceeding from 
the quarter which it does. It should be recollected that 



60 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

last year, when domestic rebellion and foreign invasion 
threatened the existence of the country and the consti- 
tution, we, the country gentlemen, rallied round the 
Government — round the noble lord, himself — and that 
we saved the State. What have we done, Sir, when the 
State has been a second time endangered, by worse than 
foreign invasion, or open and armed rebellion — by the 
folly, wickedness, and treachery of the British Minister ? 
What did we then, Sir ? We, a second time, saved the 
State — we rallied around the lawful and established 
Government of the country — we rallied to some purpose 
— we rallied with effect — we rallied, Sir, and brought 
back to Parliament the confidence of the people — (a loud 
cry of Hear! hear! which lasted a considerable time). 
We have been loaded with the pretty, polite, well-bred, 
and temperate epithets of dupes and gulls, and that we 
are connected with men who want to make instruments 
of us — we defy the voice of such opprobrium and obloquy 
— let it return from whence it came, and rest there — 
it attaches not to us : and, thank Heaven, the noble 
lord cannot accuse us of being connected with him, or 
of being his instruments ! Sir, I will, regardless of 
peevish and illiberal accusation, support the motion 
before the House : a motion which is calculated to heal 
the bleeding wounds inflicted on this country by the 
administration of the noble lord, and that of his master, 
Mr. Pitt. I say, Sir, I will support it if for no other 
reason than to give you an opportunity of vindicating 
yourself from the illiberal and insulting attacks made on 
you in the British Commons — (an enthusiastic cry of 
Hear ! hear ! which even many voices at the Treasury 
side involuntarily joined). And, Sir, this motion could 
not decently be resisted if orders had been received here 
from the other side of the water to muzzle you — (a long 
laugh) — that you may be pelted with impunity by the 
English Minister and his myrmidons like a cock on a 
Shrove Tuesday — (auother loud laugh). But, Sir, I'll 
back with my life the Irish blood — the Union cow-feather 
is up — the Minister is already becoming a blinker — and 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 61 

I have no doubt we shall soon make him wheel out of 
the ring." 

Towards the close of the speech, the House was in 
such a roar of laughter, that it was impossible to collect 
what was said with such precision as to do it sufficient 
justice. 

The Union was carried by corruption and fraud. All 
the evil prophecies then made have been more than 
fulfilled, our country has decayed slowly but surely. 
Wealth and industry have gone long ago, population 
is rapidly following. 

The vicissitudes of places of worship in Monaghan 
are as interesting as any other branch of our history. 
For some time after the Penal Laws had been relaxed 
sufficiently to enable the Catholics to assemble for 
worship, they continued to use the Corby Rock Glen 
for hearing Mass; then they had a Baughog, or roofed 
Altar erected at the back of some ' Lone' bushes, a little 
further south, in the townland of Tamlat — the county 
road to Castleblayney now covers the exact spot. A 
few years after they built their first modest thatched 
chapel in Drumhirk. About 1780, the towns-people 
built a chapel at the back of the house, now occupied 
by James M'Fadden, Junior; and about 1790 the chapel 
in Drumhirk was destroyed, and the portion of the old 
Catholic Parish Church nearest the road was built. 
The town Catholics, who then began to increase in 
numbers and wealth, got better premises, and moved 
the Chapel up to the rere of the Diamond, just behind 
A. Brennan's. This incensed the more bigoted Pro- 
testants, who used every effort to get the Chapel 
removed back to Dublin Street or the Shambles. 
Dacre Hamilton was appealed to, and some well-to-do 
Catholics began to negotiate with him. The terms 
were, that they were to give up the Chapel in the 
Diamond, and he was to give them a lease of the plot 
of ground where the Provincial Bank now stands. 
When this became known, the bigots became greatly 



62 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

enraged at finding matters, from their view, only made 
worse, and they used every inducement to get Hamilton 
to break his contract with the Catholics, which he 
declined to do. They found that as old age was approaching, 
his bigotry decreased, while his cupidity increased, so they 
tried to frighten him by telling him he would not get his 
rent. This shook him at first. However, he said some 
of those Catholics who were negotiating with him, were 
well off; but when it was impressed on him that they 
were only trustees, his avarice and bigotry arose again, 
and he broke off the bargain. Soon after, pressure was 
brought to bear on the Catholics, and they surrendered 
the Chapel, the proximity of which to the Diamond 
offended the bigots of that day, on receiving an exten- 
sion of the graveyard at the Parish Church. Shortly 
afterwards, in 1824, the late Mr. Peter M'Entee gave a 
lease of a house in Park Street, then Clones Street, and 
the town Chapel was built. The foundation of the 
magnificent Cathedral of St. Macartan was laid on 
21st June, 1861. Its completion and dedication are of so 
recent a date that I will not dwell on them here, except 
to state that the building has been described by one 
eminent authority, as a "dream of beauty," while an 
eminent Ecclesiastic stated that the dedication was the 
greatest ecclesiastical event that ever occurred in 
Ireland. 

The Protestant Episcopalians had no place of wor- 
ship in the town for many years. After the conquest of 
Ulster by Elizabeth's , forces, the old parish Church of 
Rackwallace was restored. And in the reign of James the 
First a residence was built for the rector on the Church 
lands adjoining the churchyard. In times of peace 
the rector resided here, but when any trouble arose, he 
availed of the opportunity to leave the locality and draw 
his salary elsewhere. During the war beginning 1641, 
the Church was retaken by the Catholics, but they were 
driven out of it at the end of the war. A short time 
prior to this, the Protestants of the town used a room in 
the Castle for prayers. About the beginning of the 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGUAN. 



63 




m 

Clerk 

with 
^•somethiri 
=Sbout y= 



ARTAN'S CATHEDRAL, MONAGHAN. 



64 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

18th century a Church was built in Monaghan near the 
site of the present Church. This was a clumsy old 
building without a tower, until Mr. Richard Jackson 
erected one at the beginning of this century. The old 
Church was taken down, and the present symmetrical 
structure replaced it in 1836. 

The present Presbyterian meeting-house, which was 
built in the year 1827, succeeded an older one on the 
same site. 

The Seceders built a meeting-house near the Convent 
Lake, but as the title was defective, Mr. Alexander King, 
who was a strong member of the town congregation, 
pulled down the meeting-house in 1808, and included it 
in the Brewery. At this time there was desperate 
hatred and ill-will between the two sections of the 
Presbyterians ; and so hostile did they become, that the 
more powerful congregation compelled the Seceders to 
abandon any hope of building a meeting-house in the 
town, and they built the present structure at Ballyalbany. 
It was during these quarrels, which extended all over 
Ulster, that the opprobrious names of ' Blackmouths' and 
' Stiffnecks' were applied to each other. 

The old Methodist preaching house in Dawson Stree , 
at the rere of the present minister's residence, was built i\ 
the beginning of this century, and the present preaching 
house was built in Dawson Street about the year 1861. 
The other little preaching house in Market Street was 
built under the following peculiar circumstances. T^£ 
late Mr. Richard Jackson, who amassed consider f 
wealth in the leather cutting trade, was very cha^ s ^ Q 
to the different Protestant sects, and dropped som^urch 
vations about building a handsome Church on th| ,p eace 
of Back Street, now Market Street, which camljjiji;. ^ e 
ear of a rather clever townsman, who forthwithlJnl\. 
to Mr. Jackson and asked a lease. Jackson replied* 1 ■' 
he intended keeping it for the purpose of building a we ^ce 
of worship on it : to which the other replied, " I*ti m( u 
give it to me, I'll build a house to the honou' j L d 
and glory of God, that will be a credit to Monagb ^^ 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 65 

Jackson gave the lease, and went away for change of air 
during the summer months. On his return he went to 
see the result of his generosity, and saw the fine drapery 
establishment, at present owned by Mr. James Mitchell. 
When he met the then occupier and recipient of his 
favours in the street, he asked him " where is the house 
to the ' Honour and Glory of God' you promised to 
build ?" " Oh, here it is here," said he, pointing to the little 
preaching house at the end of Mr. Mitchell's. Jackson 
merely said, " I did not think you'd deceive me by 
leaving only a hole in the wall." Jackson went home 
and altered his will, and struck out a large legacy which 
he had left to the builder of the " Honour and Glory of 
God." 

Duelling rose to a great pitch at the end of the last 
century. There were several men throughout the 
county who were professional duellers; who on the 
slightest excuse would send a challenge to an unfor- 
tunate neighbour or friend ; some young men were 
known to pick quarrels with these fire-eaters, to have 
it to say they had fought with some celebrated dueller. 
Though some of these foolish youths lost their lives in 
their pursuit of notoriety, still it did not deter others 
from following in their dangerous footsteps. The last 
duels arranged or fought about Monaghan are now 
almost forgotten. The most notable of these was that in 
1822, when Richard Mitchell, Junior, formerly Deputy 
Clerk of the Peace, fought Richard Jackson Robinson 
with pistols" at Castleshane. The quarrel rose out of 
something Robinson's sister was alleged to have said 
about Mitchell. Several attempts were made to settle 
the dispute, but without success; and the party, which 
consisted of the two principals, Mitchell's second, 
Thomas Battersby, Robinson's second, James Mollen, and 
Dr. Temple, met early on the morning of 19th April 1822, 
near the old town of Castleshane. Shots were first 
exchanged without any damage being done, and all was 
nearly over when Dr. Temple made some contemptuous 

E 



66 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

remarks on the valour of the combatants, which had the 
effect of making them fight over again. In the second 
exchange, Robinson received a wound in the chest from 
which he died next day. A great sensation was caused by 
this. Dick Mitchell and the seconds were arrested, and 
Dr. Temple went off and hid himself. James Mollen 
gave evidence, and Mitchell and Battersby were tried at 
the Summer Assizes, 1822. The general impression at 
the time was that there had been treachery towards 
Robinson. The result of the trial was a conviction. 
Mitchell got nine months and Battersby one month. 

At the Grand Jury dinner, during the same Assizes, 
Dacre and Skeffington Hamilton fell out with Edward 
Richardson about a public appointment. Richardson 
challenged one of the Hamiltons to mortal combat, and 
the other Hamilton challenged Richardson. Both duels 
were arranged to be fought the day but one after ; but 
when the parties got sober the next morning, one of 
those very active in getting up the duel ran to the 
Crown officer and swore informations. All the parties 
were arrested, and the principals were bound to the 
peace for seven years in £5,000 each, with two sureties 
in £2,000 each. Lord Rossmore and Henry Westenra 
were sureties for the Hamiltons, while Colonel Leslie 
and " Mad " Montgomery were sureties for Richardson. 

The official documents concerning this dispute were 
abstracted from the county records by some of the 
parties who showed the " white feather ' : on the occa- 
sion, so as to prevent future generations finding out 
who the hero was who acted " Bob Acres " in Monaghan 
Court-house in 1822. 

The next famous duel arose out of the Election of 
1826. Colonel Madden, of Hilton Park, quarrelled with 
Lord Rossmore about the Election, and the meeting 
was arranged and took place on the Armagh side of 
the Blackwater, at Ardgonnell Bridge. Lord Rossmore 
was shot in the foot, and Dr. Temple extracted the 
bullet on the spot, as it had barely penetrated the skin* 
Colonel Madden escaped unhurt. 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 67 

Duelling ended ia a farce in this county. A. K. 
Young, F.R.C.S.I., quarrelled with Dr. M'Dowell about 
a public appointment, and when professional jealousy 
whetted the temper of both gentlemen, Mr. Young, like 
Horace Hunter, sent a challenge to M'Dowell, which 
he was quite satisfied would never come to anything. 
M'Dowell was terribly frightened. He was a leading 
Orangeman,and could not allow his cowardice to be known, 
so he assumed a Falstaffian bravery, and accepted the chal- 
lenge. This done, he was at his wits' end how to avoid 
the meeting without exposing his cowardice ; so he 
called on Rev. Henry Moffit, Rector of this parish, and 
told him in the greatest confidence, and asked him his 
advice about the settlement of his temporal and spiri- 
tual affairs, but besought him to tell no living man of 
the coming event. Of course Mr. Moffit, like a sensible 
man, not to say a clergyman, at once informed the 
police authorities. On the other hand, Mr. Young, who 
had probably never heard of Alexander Trott, was greatly 
astonished at the acceptance of the challenge ; however, 
he pluckily determined to see it out, and got his second, 
and arranged his pistols, but never thought of informing, 
so when the police sergeant came to arrest him he was 
considerably relieved, and at first blustered and defied 
the law. Ultimately on a few soft words from the 
sergeant "he went quietly." Mr. M'Dowell also 
showed a good deal of assumed indignation at the 
unwarrantable interference of the police in an affair 
between gentlemen, but also "went quietly ' : to the 
Magistrates, where both gentlemen were bound over to 
keep the peace, which neither of them intended breaking. 
The fame of their valour was sounded near and far, and 
Monaghan boasted of her last intended duel, equalled 
only by the great Winglebury affair of honour. 

In the early days of the present century, Dacre 
Hamilton ruled the town and neighbourhood of 
Monaghan with the power of a despotic dictator. His 
influence with the Government was great, for he had 



68 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

committed all the acts of brutality which characterised 
his class, in crushing the United Irishmen at the close 
of the last century. His power over the inhabitants of 
the country was such as can hardly be now conceived. 
He was agent for the Rossmore, Castleshane, and 
several estates. His word was law in Monaghan town 
and for many a mile around it. His character has been 
so ably painted by Carleton in Valentine M'Clutchy, 
that I will not venture here to touch on it. Though a 
rabid Orange partizan, still his co-religionists hated and 
feared him. The late Mr. A. K. Young, F.R.C.S.L 
(I will not insult his memory by calling him Doctor 
even in his grave), used to tell that when attending 
Dacre Hamilton in his last illness, Hamilton asked 
him did the people know he was so ill ; and being 
answered in the affirmative, he asked what were the 
different classes of people saying, and how did all feel 
about his illness. Mr. Young replied, that nobody 
appeared to take any notice of it, except that the 
Catholics of a neighbouring parish were rather uneasy. 
This roused the terrorist, who was overwhelmed by the 
gratitude of those whom he had scourged so long, and 
he asked with agitation was that really so. "Yes," was 
the reply, "for they say you are the life in the lease of 
their school-house" He never rallied from this blow, 
and when he died in 1833, men and women breathed 
freely, that such a monster was removed from the 
world. 

Meantime the town, after the loss of its right to send 
members to Parliament (by the Act of Union), lost one 
by one its other privileges. The last Recorder was 
elected in 1815, but the old Corporation existed down 
to 1844. The Corporation consisted of the Provost, 
twelve Burgesses, and an unlimited number of Freemen, 
the title of which was "The Provost, Free Burgesses, 
and Commonality of the Borough of Monaghan." 
There was an annual meeting of the Corporation on St. 
John's day, the 24th of June in each year, when the 
accounts were vouched before the whole towns-people. 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 69 

In 1839 the meeting was summoned on 12th June, 
for following St. John's day. The Provost was Arthur 
Gamble Lewis, and the Burgesses who signed the 
summons were Henry Westenra, Alexander Fleming, 
Thomas Wright, John Hatchell, Maurice Burnell, 
Richard Mitchell, Alexander King, Joseph Robinson, 
and James M'Knight, first sergeant at Mace. At this 
meeting several by-laws were settled, and in addition 
to the night watchmen, the following officers were 
appointed : — 

Caretaker and guardian of the seven Town pumps — 
Peter M'Coy, at the yearly salary of £30. 

Clock-keeper of the Town — John Baxter, at £4, 10s. 

First Sergeant at Mace — James M'Knight, whose 
duty was similar to the present Town Clerk, at a salary 
of £10, 10s. per year. 

Second Sergeant at Mace — William Hillock, who, in 
addition to the duty performed by the present Town 
Sergeant, superintended the markets, and kept order in 
the town, and did the duty which is now discharged by 
a large body of police — for all this Hillock was paid 
£23, 3s. 

And last there was the Town Bellman — James Hunt, 
whose duty was to make all public announcements, and 
for which he was paid £4, 10s. annually. 

Under the old charter of James I. the right to 
hold fairs, markets, and impose tolls was vested in the 
Corporation ; and by some sleight of hand for which our 
snobocracy are so remarkable, a patent was got by the 
Claremont, when he owned the estate, giving him the 
right to hold the markets, fairs, and to impose tolls. 

In 1843 the Rossmore who then owned the estate 
appears to have become conscience-stricken, and handed 
over some funds to the town. And the following com- 
mittee was appointed to administer them, viz. : — 

1. Francis Adams 4. Peter M'Pkillips 

2. David Herner 5. Joseph Robinson 

3. John Murray 6. Alexander King 



70 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

7. Peter M'Quaid 15. John Mitchell 

8* James A. Ross 16. Francis Fleming 

9. Wm. Temple, M.D. 17. Henry P. Lennon 

10. James Warner 18. Robert Murray, M.D. 

11. Matthew Yallely 19. Alexander Fleming, 

12. William Murray Treasurer. 

13. Robert Mitchell James M'Knight, Clerk. 

14. Robert Little 

The Committee met a few times in 1843, and in 
February 1844 they called themselves Commissioners. 
But special meetings were held on the 4th and 5th March, 
1844, constituting Town Commissioners under the Act 
of Parliament. The Corporation existed alongside the 
Commissioners for a time, but gradually the officers 
became absorbed by the Commissioners. The last time 
the Corporation met was in June 1844. After that 
the old Corporation of Monaghan gradually passed away 
with the death of its members. 

It appears that in 1844 the town of Monaghan was 
afflicted, as it has been ever since, with a plague of indi- 
viduals who conducted themselves as they have done 
both before and since in Monaghan and elsewhere. And 
the Town Commissioners solemnly sat and considered a 
charge of dereliction of duty of the Town Sergeant 
Hillock, made by a Mr. Smyth; the gravamen of the 
indictment was that little boys had been shooting 
marbles on his doorstep — from which it appears there 
were little boys in Monaghan town in 1844. 

In May 1845 a circular reached the Town Clerk 
inviting a deputation of the Commissioners to a Repeal 
meeting in the Conciliation Hall, on 30th May, 1845. 
The Commissioners refused. The Unionists of that day 
consisted of Alexander King, Francis Adams, Richard 
Skelton, Samuel Richardson, James Warner, Robert 
Mitchell, and John Armstrong, while there voted for 
their country only two, John Murray and Peter M'Quaid, 
both of Church Square. 

In 1845 gas was introduced to Monaghan, and the 
inhabitants of that time considered that they were 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 



71 



enlightened to such an extent by its arrival, that nothing 
could be brought to the town which would advance them 
further. 

Great confusion was caused in those days by the town 
clock, for its custodian regulated it by the watches of 
every stranger who arrived in Monaghan, and from 
local sun-dials. Few of our towns-people could indulge 
in the luxury of a watch, and those that were kept by 
the well-to-do inhabitants were doubtful time-keepers, 
and no three of them ever exactly agreed. So in Decem- 
ber 1845 the Commissioners ordered the clock-keeper to 
take the time from the guard of the mail coach, and 
keep the town clock accordingly. 




SEAL OF MONAGHAN. 

In the early part of this century the mails to Deny 
were despatched from Monaghan at 8.20 a.m. and 
5.55 p.m. ; while the mails to Dublin, at 8 a.m. and 
5.25 p.m. These mails were conveyed by the coaches. 
As the roads were improved, the hours were altered, the 
morning mails came earlier, and the evening mails later. 



72 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

A coach passed through Monaghan from Eaniskillen to 
Belfast. 

For many years the principal hotel, then called the 
head inn, was in New Market Square (now Meetinghouse 
Square), and was owned by Thomas Corley, and was 
called the "Red Lion." Goods were conveyed to all parts 
of Ireland from the Red Lion and the Black Bull, both in 
New Market Square. The latter was owned by one Owen 
M'Aloon. However, all those who sent goods had to 
wait until there was sufficient goods to make a load. 

In addition to the mail coaches from Dublin to Derry, 
and from Belfast to Enniskillen, a coach called the 
"Bang-up" left the Westenra Arms, then owned by 
Thomas Kelly, three times a week for Dublin, returned 
on alternate days; while another called the "Telegraph," 
ran from Andrew Goodwin's, Glasslough Street, at the 
same time for the same destination. The mail coach 
used to stop at the King's Arms in the Diamond, then 
owned by one George Little. 

The present gaol was finished about 1824, and the 
Court-house which replaced the old gaol, was finished 
some years afterwards. 

From 1808 up to the end of the fifties the brewery 
flourished where the Convent now stands, and while it 
was working conduced considerably to the prosperity of 
the town. There had been an old distillery where the 
houses of James Murphy and Patrick Kelly are now 
situated behind the market-house, but that had been 
idle for some years prior to the opening of the brewery. 

The last Provost of Monaghan was Arthur Gamble 
Lewis. He was agent for the Rossmore estate, and 
married the widow of the Hon. Richard Westenra of 
Ballyleck, daughter of the last Scott of Scotstown, and 
grand-daughter of the last Owen of Monaghan. This 
marriage so annoyed the Rossmore family, who expected 
to get the Scotstown estate on the death of the present 
Miss Westenra, that he was dismissed from the agency 
of the Rossmore estate. He tried to assume the same 
power as Dacre Hamilton had held in Monaghan, and 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 73 

for a time exercised sway over town and country. In 
his capacity as a Magistrate he was notorious for his 
partiality. 

The first principle in British law is, that the KiDg 
can do no wrong. The first principle in Colonel Lewis's 
law was, that a Protestant could do no wrong. He 
punished the faults of all Catholics who were brought 
before him with the greatest severity, while he treated 
Protestants with the very reverse. He got up a S3 7 stem of 
espionage on the estates over which he was agent and land- 
lord, a system we have seen attempts to imitate in our 
own day. No man could drop an observation supposed to 
be disrespectful to the Colonel or his class, that was not 
reported forthwith to the office, and woe betide the un- 
fortunate victim of the tale when he next came before 
the Colonel ! ! ! He was a fanatical proselytiser ; he 
started proselytising schools everywhere he could, and 
his employees spent much time in distributing Protestant 
Bibles and tracts broadcast over the country. Many a 
home was left desolate, the inhabitants of which could 
only trace their eviction to the refusal to admit to their 
families literature insulting to their religion. The 
priests, as times approached the Famine, had much to 
do and to suffer. On one side their flocks were threatened 
with starvation and eviction, on the other with the loss 
of their faith. And with very few exceptions both 
priests and people risked the former, so that the latter 
might be preserved. In many districts hundreds of 
families grew up in ignorance of letters, for the only 
schools within their reach were the proselytising schools 
founded by Lewis. Some months ago an Aghabog man 
was in the office of the writer on some business which 
necessitated his signing his name to a document. When 
the paper was presented to him for his signature, " I 
cannot write," he said, " I cannot write, yet a school 
was within twenty yards of my father's door. But that 
was when Colonel Lewis was our landlord, and Father 
Carolan our parish priest." What a face Lewis's 
Catholic grandson must have, when he joins in the 



74 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

Tory cry through England, of illiterate voters in 
Ireland ! 

Colonel Lewis's pharisaical hypocrisy knew no bounds. 
Both in public and private, on the platform, and in the 
press, he boasted of his great missionary labours. How 
when he came amongst us we were an ungodly lot, and 
how by his schools, system of espionage, his good ex- 
ample, etc., he had converted the greater part of the 
County Monaghan. As the natural result, he was well 
attacked in the public press by those who did not shirk 
their duty in exposing him ; while even the Presby- 
terian ministers had to complain of all he was taking to 
himself, in the salvation of souls. 

He was as great a tyrant as Dacre Hamilton, without 
ability or power to exercise his tyranny to the same 
extent. It will hardly be believed nowadays, that he 
refused to take a respectable farmer's rent, and ordered 
him out of his office for daring to come into his presence 
with a beard on him. This farmer, George Nesbitt of 
Loyst, lived to apply to have a fair rent fixed for a 
judicial term under the Land Law (Ireland) Act of 1881. 

Lewis was the last Colonel of the old Monaghan Militia, 
and was the last man who wore the old Yeoman's 
uniform through the streets of Monaghan. 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 75 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE TITHE WAR IN MONAGHAN. 

For several years after the Union great discontent 
prevailed amongst the Catholics of Ireland at supporting 
the Protestant ministers. For a time it was turned 
aside by the rise of O'Connell, and the struggle for 
Catholic Emancipation. But when the Irish people 
found that that much belauded measure of Catholic 
relief brought no benefit to the large majority of them, 
and only injured the people by corrupting those who 
should be their leaders with bribes of office, the public 
mind naturally turned to look at the quarter from which 
they suffered most, and the collecting of the tithes was 
the most irritating, 1st, because it went to support the 
clergy of an alien religion, and 2nd, it was collected by 
a sort of bailiffs, called proctors, who could seize on any 
of the chattels or crops of every tenant farmer in Ireland. 

The mode of opposition adopted by the people to this 
exaction was the now very familiar system of passive 
resistance. In the earlv thirties, there were some 
terrible and bloody scenes enacted. In June 1831, the 
cattle and goods of several farmers which had been seized 
in the counties of Carlow and Wexford, were put up 
for sale by auction in Newtownbarry, and a large crowd 
assembled to intimidate by their presence any one from 
purchasing. As no chance of a sale appeared likely, the 
police and Yeomen attacked the unarmed people, killed 
thirteen men, and wounded twenty. 

This terrible tragedy, for which no one was ever made 
amenable, irritated all Ireland, and made it impossible 
for tithes to be collected without the aid of the police 
and military. In December 1831, a process-server was 
serving notices for recovery of tithes in Carrickshock, 
Co. Kilkenny, under protection of a large force of police, 
a crowd assembled and made attempts to take the pro- 



76 HIST0K1CAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

cesses from him, and one young man seized the process- 
server and attempted to carry him off. One of the 
police fired and shot the young man dead on the spot. 
This was followed by a determined attack on the police 
by the people who were armed with all sorts of weapons. 
A desperate fight ensued, in which eleven police and 
some country people were killed. These were followed 
by several smaller struggles in different parts of Ireland. 
In the end of 1831 the Rev. Mr. Crookshank, Rector 
of Tyholland, in common with most other rectors, 
sent forth his proctors to collect the tithes. Large 
crowds assembled to resist the collection. The proctors 
were assailed by a crowd of people and fled for their 
lives through the country. The rector heard of it and 
sent for the police. There were only four men and a 
sergeant in a barrack which was then in Tyholland, 
and the sergeant wisely declined the invitation of Mr. 
Crookshank to aid in collecting the tithe in the face of 
such an angry assemblage. A troop of dragoons and 
some police came out from Monaghan. The people 
assembled in great crowds, most of them armed, on the 
hills, and there was general expectation of a real battle 
being fought. But the proctors could not be induced to 
continue their work even under such protection. This 
was the first resistance in this county, which was rapidly 
followed by similar scenes in several districts. On 1st 
February 1832, the Rev. Charles Evatt, Rector of 
Monaghan, sent out his proctors, Thomas Watson and 
Thomas Longmore, to collect his tithe. They succeeded 
very well until they reached Aughnaseda, when they 
entered on the farm of Mr. John Hughes, and demanded 
the tithe. John declined to pay, and produced a printed 
document which he said was an order from the Grand 
Club to pay no more tithe. John Hughes' brother then 
came forward and shouted to a young man at some 
distance, to sound the horn on Goudy's Hill, which was 
forthwith done, and had the effect of gathering a crowd 
who abused and hunted Watson and Longmore. As 
soon as news of this reached the town, the police and 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 77 

military were sent out to arrest the Hugheses, and Michael 
Hughes gave the authorities a race for his capture. 
Having run about a mile hotly pursued by the police, 
he changed clothes with a young man named Barkey in 
Cam, who, being fresh and mistaken for Hughes, gave 
the police twice as severe a run through Tyholland for 
several hours, until at last he was surrounded and cap- 
tured about Leitrim. The whole body of police and 
military brought Barkey a prisoner into Monaghan in 
great triumph. But, alas ! on his being confronted with 
the proctors, the authorities were informed they had 
caught the wrong man. It was quite natural that 
Michael and John Hughes, uncle and father of »Mr. 
James Hughes of Aughnaseda, who had both suffered 
for their country in '98, should have appeared on the 
scene as leaders in the resistance to the tithe, over 
thirty years afterwards. 

During the early part of 1832 most of the Protestant 
clergymen in Monaghan, as in most parts of Ireland, 
were in great want, and a determined attempt was 
arranged by them to enforce the collection for the year 
1832. Accordingly some of the more reckless employed 
the infamous Sam Gray, who, accompanied by an 
armed mob, carried off everything they could lay their 
hands on from the farmers near Ballybay. Oae man 
who resisted was shot by Gray. Gray stood his trial for 
it, and was acquitted of course. The tithe proctors 
were accompanied by forces of police and military into 
those districts where resistance was expected. All the 
parishes in Farney were the scenesof turbulent assemblies. 
On 9th November 1832 a body of dragoons under com- 
mand of three magistrates (one a Catholic) protected 
the tithe proctors of the Rev. Patrick Cummings in 
collecting the tithes of Margheracloon. The people 
assembled, armed, some with guns, pitchforks, scythes, 
etc., to resist the collection, and a regular fight took place. 
The soldiers charged and cleared the roadway of the 
people, who got behind the ditches and fired shots and 
stones at the troops and proctors. The dragoons charged 



78 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

into several of the fields, driving the people over the 
fences, who, as soon as they were driven out of one 
field, formed behind the fences of another. Ulti- 
mately the people crowded on the top of a high hill, 
whence they were driven and scattered by a desperate 
charge of the whole force. In this fight, which lasted 
several hours, many people and soldiers were wounded, as 
also was one of the magistrates, a Mr. James M. Reid, 
who was hit with a ball. The proctors returned empty- 
handed that evening. 

Several attempts had been made to collect the tithes 
in Donaghmoyne, and even under the protection of the 
police, the proctors had failed. However, a plan had 
been laid by the authorities to enforce the payment of 
the Donaghmoyne tithes due the Rev. Mr. Porter ; and 
a large force of police marched from Carrickmacross to 
protect the proctors. At the same time a troop of 
dragoons left Castleblayney. The p'an was, that when 
the people who were expected to assail the police and 
proctors were engaged with them, the dragoons were to 
charge them from behind, and punish the people severely 
for their resistance of the law. The place where this was 
arranged to take place at was about the centre of Donagh- 
moyne. But the people were assembled more rapidly than 
the authorities expected by the sounding of horns ; and 
long before the police and proctors reached the ground of 
the intended battle, they were surrounded by the people 
armed with guns, pitchforks, scythes, sticks, stones, etc. 
The people formed behind the fences and fired shots 
and stones at the police, who returned their fire from 
the road. A mounted police-constable, named Dawson, 
was despatched to meet the troops coming from Castle- 
blayney, and to hurry them forward, but he had not 
proceeded far when he was knocked out of his saddle 
with a blow of a stone and killed on the road. 

The commander of the police, seeing he could hold 
out no longer, proceeded to retreat. The body of police 
had to fight their way back to Carrickmacross, firing 
from behind fences, and fired at until they were within 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 79 

half a mile of the town. Many were wounded on both 
sides, but it does not appear that anyone was killed 
except Richard Dawson. When the troops arrived at 
the place where the fight had been, they found the dead 
body of Dawson ; and having learned what befel the 
police, they returned to Castleblayney. 

Great was the rage of the authorities and Ascendancy 
party in the county at these failures, accompanied by 
the murder of Dawson. It drove them to a state of frenzy. 
The Protestant ministers were really frightened that in 
an Ulster county tithes could not be collected. And 
many of them were compelled to join the appeals for 
help, which came from the south and west of Ireland; 
so the governing classes in the county determined to 
incarcerate and hang everyone they could, under any 
pretext, get a conviction against for riot or murder. 
Accordingly wholesale arrests were made, and informers 
employed. 

At the Monaghan Lent Assizes of 1833, Thomas 
M'Closkey, Peter Maguire, Owen M'Guire, and Michael 
William Reddy were indicted for riot and unlawful assem- 
bly at Magheracloon. Mr. Reddy objected to the find- 
ing of the Bill by the Grand Jury, as four of them were 
hostile to him and connected with the prosecution. Chief 
Justice Bushe allowed the objection, and directed a new 
Bill to be sent up, and ordered the Grand Jurors who 
had been objected to, to leave the room. M'Closkey 
was acquitted, and the trial of the others adjourned — 
Philip Mohan, Michael Daly, Francis Finegan, Junior, 
Charles M'Kenna, Francis Finegan, James Cullighan, 
Terence Graham, Edward Cullighan, John Goodman, 
James Reddy, Michael M'Cabe, and Pat M'Connan 
were indicted for the murder of Dawson, riot and 
unlawful assembly at Donaghmoyne. Philip Mohan, 
Michael Daly, and Pat M'Connan got each twelve 
months for the riot. The other trials were adjourned 
several times, when, through the agency of some private 
informer, one Bryan Cullighan was arrested, a strong 
case made against him, and he was sentenced to be 



80 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

hanged at the Summer Assizes 1834, for the murder of 
Dawson. The others were then discharged. Cullighan's 
sentence was afterwards commuted to transportation for 
life. He was brought a prisoner to Dublin through 
Armagh, as a rescue was feared had he been brought 
through Farney on the regular coach road to Dublin. 
Ultimately, through the influence of the Whig Members 
for the county (who had been returned in 1826 by great 
sacrifices), Culligban was pardoned in Dublin, before 
he set foot on the convict ship, and returned home a 
free man. But to return to the collection of the tithes. 
After these affrays, the resistance became more passive, 
and when a seizure was effected, no price could be 
obtained for the goods seized. Cattle that were seized 
were marked with a brand which was known all over 
Ireland, and even in England; so that it was impossible 
to sell them to any advantage. In 1834 a Coercion Act 
was passed, and a sham Church Act, which only 
partially removed the tithe exactions; and in December 
of 1834, another tithe carnage took place, this time at 
Rathcormac, in Waterford, where the police and mili- 
tary fired into a crowd, armed with sticks and stones. 
Several persons were killed, and the tithes carried off 
over these bloody corpses. This massacre only increased 
the resistance to the tithe, but it also made the people 
more cautious; and in our county, it was almost 
impossible in several parishes for the ministers to get 
tithes for several years. At last in 1838 an Act was 
passed, nominally abolishing tithes; but, in reality, 
transferring the liability from the tenant to the 
landlord, and enabling the landlord to add it to the rent, 
of which most of that interesting class took full advan- 
tage, and availed of the opportunity to raise the rents 
far in excess of the amount required for tithe. 

The Act made the tithe a charge on the fee of the 
land. However, it removed the irritation of the forcible 
collection of tithes, and relieved the ministers of the 
unpleasantness of coming in contact with the farmers. 

The Protestant Church enjoyed the tithes up to 1869, 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 81 

when the Church Act of Mr Gladstone transferred it to 
the State, where it is now being used for many useful 
purposes. The landlords enjoyed the increases of rent 
up to 1881, when Mr Gladstone, backed by a strong 
agitation, 'reduced the rents in most cases, even below 
what was added at the Tithe Act. The landlord still pays 
the tithe, and it is hoped our Irish Parliament will soon 
have the management of that interesting and historic 
tribute. 



CHAPTER VII. 

SECRET SOCIETIES IN THE COUNTY AFTER THE UNION. 

To an Irishman who loves his country the perusal of the 
following pages can bring naught but feelings of shame 
and sorrow. They cover a period mayhap one of the saddest 
in all our country's annals. For, though here and there 
may be met with deeds of daring and heroic self-sacri- 
fice, inspired by the hope of a great national regeneration ; 
yet, as a general rule, they contain nothing but the record 
of acts — desperate and despairing — of men who believed 
that their cause was lost beyond redemption. 

With the failure of the United Irish movement, and 
the carrying of the Act of Union, our Protestant fellow- 
countrymen ceased to be nationalists. Those of them 
who had been United Irishmen either joined the 
Orange Society, or retired from politics altogether. The 
older generation of Catholics also gave up the fight, while 
the younger, still clinging to the hope of French aid, 
tried to keep the remnants of the United Irishmen's 
society together, in order to be able to co-operate with 
an invading French army v However, Napoleon's re- 
verses on the Continent destroyed the hopes of even the 
most sanguine spirits amongst the Irish ; and about the 
year 1810 we hear the last of the United Irishmen, in 

F 



82 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

County Monaghan. In that year two men, Thady 
Kelly arid Pat. M'Hugh, were tried at the Monaghan 
Spring assizes and transported for swearing in United 
Irishmen. From this period a common organisation, 
with national self-government as its object, ceased to 
exist for many and many a year in Ireland. 

The societies which sprang up now, were, in the 
several districts of the country, completely independent 
of, and often at war with, each other. Their object in the 
main was to act as a kind of counter-organization to the 
Orange society, which, founded some time before the 
Union, and pampered by the garrison party after that 
event in order that it might be used as a means of alienat- 
ing the Protestants from the rest of their fellow-country- 
men, had about this period a lodge in almost every 
district in the North. The members of these lodges backed 
each other in case of riot at all the popular gatherings, 
such as fairs, race-meetings, etc., and the Yeomen invari- 
ably backed the Orangemen, so that between the two 
parties, the disunited Catholics got very often worsted in 
these popular melees. It was to remedy this state of affairs 
that the Catholics resolved to join together in these secret 
societies. This private union gave them a certain 
amount of confidence in themselves, and they soon 
began to use their little secret conclaves as a means of 
protecting themselves against the insupportable tyranny 
of the local landlord or the proctor. And as in such 
cases, they could only make themselves felt by retaliat- 
ing for injustice done, and as the heads of these societies 
were wholly irresponsible, this retaliation took shape in 
the perpetration of the most appalling acts of revenge. 

But to return to the Orange society and their opponents 
in the county. Riots took place in several parts of the 
county. In 1813 Captain Singleton's Yeomen fired on 
and killed several people at Scarnageeragh (now Emy- 
vale) fair. The Justices of the Peace declined to take 
informations against Singleton and his men, until com- 
pelled by an order of the King's Bench, and when 
brought to trial, the assize court of course let the mur- 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN". 83 

derers go unpunished, so of necessity the Catholics 
were compelled to form themselves into societies. 
Ignorant men were the founders of these societies, and the 
noblest objects were degraded to the basest ends. The 
Ribbon Society was first introduced into Monaghan 
about 1813 : for we find Pat Brady and Pat Kelly of 
Cornacrieve transported at the Monaghan assizes of 
Lent 1814* for seven years for being " Riband" men. 
The oath found to have been used by them was, " that 
he, P.B., should be a loyal Ribandman, and our intention 
is to destroy all heretics." Other secret societies started 
up in the county under various names of " Thrashers," 
" United Irish Sons of the Shamrock," etc. 

These societies laid strongest hold on the Catholic 
young men in the barony of Dartrey, where the constant 
rioting at Clones fair excited the public mind with a 
strong party spirit, so that the Catholics became an 
easy prey to the propagators of these societies. The 
last place in the county into which the secret societies 
made headway was the parish of Errigle Trough. 

On the 30th October, 1818, a riot took place at Augh- 
nacloy races, between the Orangemen and Catholics. It 
lasted for some hours, and was renewed in the town of 
Aughnacloy. Ultimately the Trough people, who were 
Catholics, were induced to go home, but were followed 
out to the Blackwater by the Orangemen, and on the 
bridge the fight was renewed. Several magistrates 
were present, but none of them seem to have tried to 
restore peace except a Mr. Roger Ancketill, who got the 
contending parties separated, and negotiated between 
them. The Catholics, who were on the Monaghan side of 
the river, agreed to disperse if the Orangemen returned 
to Aughnacloy. But while Mr. Ancketill was striving 
to restore peace, a Mr. Falls from Dungannon succeeded 
in getting the Aughnacloy Yeomen called out under 
arms, and when the Orangemen found these allies 
coming, they renewed the fight, and the Yeomen fired 
on the Catholics, who scattered and fled. A few Ca- 
tholics were shot dead, including a woman, and several 



84 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

were wounded. The murderers were tried and acquitted 
at Monaghan Lent Assizes, 1819. Shortly after this, 
Errigle Trough was overrun with secret societies, and as 
was usual the rival societies began to fight each other. 
Riots took place between these rival factions at the fairs 
of Monaghan, Castleshane, Tydavnet, Knockbwee, and 
Scarnageeragh : so the leaders of all societies held a 
conference in Monaghan about 1820, and all the other 
societies were merged in the Ribbon Society. Crowds 
of young men joined it in the belief that in some inde- 
finable way they could free their country — for traces and 
memories of the United Irish Society still remained 
amongst the people. Thus the membership of the 
Ribbon confederacy in Monaghan was composed prin- 
cipally of two classes, (1) those who were merely party 
men, and who wished to be united to fight the Orange- 
men ; and (2) those who were united to free their country. 

In the meantime the Government passed Coercion 
Acts, and several batches of young men were tried at 
different assizes at Monaghan, for association in these 
societies. On the other hand, the Government began 
gradually to withdraw the arms from the Yeomen and 
replace them with constabulary. 

The General Election of 1826 had the first corrupt- 
ing influence on the Ribbonmen, but at the same 
time it united them in the County Monaghan. The 
rival candidates began to negotiate with the Ribbon 
leaders, and Mr. Westenra's politics being the most 
agreeable, and nearest to the wishes of the Catholics 
and Nationalists of County Monaghan, they sided with 
him. Continuous rioting was kept up for a week in 
the town of Monaghan ; so great was the rioting that 
the Government issued a commission to inquire into the 
cause of it, which, however, came to naught. 

The return of O'Connell at the famous Clare election 
of 1828 caused great excitement all over Ireland, and 
helped to infuriate the Orange party throughout the 
country. Among O'ConnelPs supporters at that elec- 
tion was a newspaper proprietor from Belfast, named 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 85 

John Lawless, and on his return he formed a triumphal 
procession of the peasantry through the County Meath, 
and the southern part of Monaghan. What the exact 
object of this procession was is not clearly known, but 
it is a fact that most of the Ribbonmen in Meath, 
Monaghan, and the adjoining counties joined the pro- 
cession, believing it was the beginning of a great national 
rising, though they were armed with nought but sticks. 
The triumphal march had reached close to Ballintra, 
south of Ballybay, and the Orangemen assembled, 
armed in Ballybay, for the purpose of stopping the 
procession. A large body of troops under the command 
of General Thornton intercepted the processionists, and, 
with the persuasion of General Thornton and the local 
priests, the people were induced to return home. 
General Thornton estimated this gigantic procession 
to have numbered 100,000, and he expressed great 
admiration of the physique of the men, stating at the 
same time, that if Wellington had had those men 
organized into an army, he could have swept Europe. 

In 1829 Catholic Emancipation was passed ; and, 
though it is now over half a century since it was placed 
on the Statute book, still it is almost a nullity in the 
county of Monaghan, where Catholics are excluded from 
almost all the Government and all the county offices, 
principally through the influence of persons who are 
always proclaiming their toleration, yet who reap the 
revenues and emoluments of these positions themselves. 

But Catholic Emancipation did great harm in our 
country, for it excited the bigoted ire of the Ascend- 
ancy classes, and disfranchised the forty shilling free- 
hold voters. This latter had the effect of inducing the 
landlords — who could no longer derive any political 
advantage from the votes of their small tenants — to 
commence evicting them. 

For a time, attention was drawn from evictions to 
the Tithe struggle, which I have already described. I 
may add, that the Ribbon society took full advantage 
of the excitement about the tithe to propagate their 



86 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

V 

branches ; and at all their gatherings they resolved to 
resist the collection of tithe, and in this county the 
Ribbon leaders took an active part in organising the 
resistance. 

Towards the end of the Tithe war, the Government 
began to enforce the Party Processions Act in the 
county; and at the Monaghan Summer Assizes of 1833, 
four batches of Orangemen were put on their trial for 
violation of the Act at Monaghan, Glasslough, Emyvale, 
and Clones. The first batch tried were Ralph Campbell, 
James Gillanders, John Gillanders, Thomas Ryan, 
James Halliday, James Moore, Richard Turtle, Robert 
Thompson, Edward Graham, and J. Joseph Moore, for 
forming part of a party procession at Monaghan. The 
case was clearly proved, and though there was practi- 
cally no defence except a political speech from their 
couDsel, they were acquitted. The Crown lawyers, 
seeing the hopelessness of proceeding with the case, got 
adjournments of all the others. Several similar incidents 
occurred at most of the Ulster Assizes, and threats were 
said to have been held out by the Crown of some strong 
measure of legislation which would empower the Crown 
to change the venue in all these party cases. The 
result was, that the following Assizes (Lent 1834), all 
these Orangemen pleaded guilty, and were let off with a 
fine of sixpence, on condition that they would not again 
violate the Act. The Ballybay Orangemen, led by Sam 
Gray, defied the law and marched in spite of the Act. 
They were tried at Monaghan, Lent Assizes 1835, and 
acquitted. 

Sam Gray was for many years a remarkable figure in 
this county. He rose to notoriety by being a very hot 
Orangeman ; and, having committed several crimes 
against Catholics, he had no difficulty in escaping with 
impunity, through the partiality of the magistrates and 
jurors. He kept a corner public-house in Ballybay, from 
which he hung as a sign a picture of King William 
crossing the Boyne painted on both sides of it, from 
which arose the expressive simile used by country 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 87 

people — " The same on the other side, like Sam Gray's 
signboard!" Around him he gathered a set of despe- 
radoes who were quite ready at all times to commit any 
crime, from perjury and robbery to murder. He was 
appointed a county-cess collector, a tithe-proctor, and by 
some Orange shoneens a rent agent. He always carried 
two or more pistols, which he used on every occasion upon 
which he had the slightest excuse. During the Catholic 
Emancipation agitation and the Tithe war, his power 
grew to a most dangerous height. The snobocracy, who 
at first encouraged him, became alarmed. When he com- 
mitted any crime against any person, and was charged 
with it, he always brought a cross charge. These cases, 
being generally against Catholics, were always disposed 
of at petty sessions in Gray's favour. At last, through 
pressure from the Government, he was returned for 
trial in 1833, for riot and assault. The jurors took up 
the position of the magistrates and acquitted him. He 
was subsequently returned for trial several times, and 
assizes after assizes for several years he was brought up 
charged with assaults, firings at, and wounding, riots, 
manslaughters, and murders, but the Crown never could 
obtain a conviction, except once, when he deliberately 
shot two men, who had been witnesses against him in 
some civil case ; one of the men died on the spot, the 
other (named Corrigan) survived. He was acquitted 
of the murder, but was convicted of the wounding. 
How the verdict was obtained will be presently seen.* 

His gang of followers would allow no Catholic to pass 
through Ballybay or its neighbourhood after night, 
without producing a passport signed by Sam Gray ! ! 
The police were afraid to arrest him, and at the summer 
assizes of 1836, a constable named Leary was tried 
(and of course acquitted), for refusing to arrest Sam 
Gray, on a warrant handed to him by a magistrate. 
In 1840, the Sheriffs bailiffs refused to execute a writ 



* This conviction was afterwards quashed in the Queen's Bench 
on a question of law. 



88 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

on Gray, and the late Mr. Hugh Swanzy, who was Sub- 
Sheriff that year, attempted to execute it himself. Gray 
attempted to shoot him, but the pistol missed fire, and 
Gray threw Mr. Swanzy back and escaped iuto the house 
and shut the door, thereby excluding the Sheriff. Some 
of the police who were present were afraid to take any 
part, or assist the Sheriff. Gray was indicted at several 
assizes for this offence, but as there was always some 
more serious charge against him, it was left in the 
background until finally it would be allowed to drop. 

About 1841 Sam Gray was at the zenith of his power. 
The law of the land had no terrors for him. An Orange 
jury had acquitted him in March 1841, of his last charge 
of murder, and he seldom now had need to break the 
law. His gang were ever ready to carry out his wishes. 
His public-house flourished, and he had a loan bank, out 
of which he lent the money of a great and wealthy 
admirer of his, named Bradford, and through this he 
attained the gratitude of some, and the popularity of all. 
Prior to this period the principal party cries of the 
Orangemen were to cheer for King William, and curse 
Phelemy Roe and the Pope, while on the other hand, 
the Catholics cheered for Phelemy Roe and cursed King 
William. From this period on for many years the Orange- 
men cheered for Sam Gray, and cursed O'Connell and 
the Pope, while the Catholics adopted the opposite 
expression. However, Sam Gray's fall was near at hand, 
and came about in this way. 

The famous Rev. Thomas Tierney was at that time 
parish priest of Clontubret. He was well known in many 
circles of Irish society, in which priests seldom appear, 
and at a select party in Dublin, where some high officials 
were guests along with Father Tierney, a discussion arose 
about the system of " Passports," which then still existed 
in some foreign countries. One gentleman began to 
hold forth on the length of time which English liberty 
had flourished since their abolition in these countries : 
whereupon Father Tierney astonished all present, by 
stating that there was still a part of his Majesty's domi- 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 89 

nions to travel through which a passport was necessary. 
Another personage then present said if such a fact was 
known, the Lord Lieutenant or the Government might 
resign. All expressed some doubt, and Father Tierney 
promised to produce before the Lord Lieutenant within 
a month a man carrying a passport. Father Tierney 
returned home next day, and on the evening he arrived 
he met a cattle-dealer coming from Shercock, and who 
had travelled through Bally bay. Being interrogated by 
Father Tierney, he produced the passport signed by 
Sam Gray, and Father Tierney took both the man and 
the passport by the next conveyance to Dublin, and 
presented both to the Viceroy. The "Pass" was sent to 
London, and the cattle-dealer was sent home. Shortly 
afterwards a Government official of high rank called on 
the Gustos Rotulorum, and all the people of position 
and authority in the neighbourhood of Ballybay. 
Threats were freely indulged in by him towards the 
Orangemen, and all the measures usually put in force 
against Catholics were threatened to be used against 
them. The result was that most of the rural Orange- 
men were induced to withdraw from Gray, and he was 
left alone with his town mob. There had been three 
abortive trials for the shooting at and wounding of 
Corrigan, and the Government did what was never 
known before, namely, packed a jury to convict an 
Orangeman, and Sam Gray was found guilty with the 
result above mentioned. During one of Sam Gray's 
terms of imprisonment, awaiting his trial for murder, 
all efforts had failed to get him out on bail ; so his son 
James Gray got one of his gang called "William Millar, 
to personate Dr. Barron, and swear that Sam Gray's 
health was endangered by continued incarceration. 
Sam got out, but the plot was discovered, and Millar was 
transported at the Monaghan Summer Assizes of 1842. 
Several efforts were made to get James Gray off, but the 
Government again packed a jury, and transported him 
after Millar to Tasmania. 

These convictions shook Sam's power considerably, but 



90 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

his reputation received a greater shock. Amongst those 
who followed Sara Gray blindly, and did his bidding in 
all things, was Bradford Stewart of Clontubret, nephew 
of Sam's generous patron, Bradford ; and in the summer 
of 1841, he was tried for perjury committed to get Sam 
out of one of his charges. Stewart was considered by all 
to be the heir of Bradford's wealth ; but after Bradford's 
death it was found, to the astonishment of everyone who 
had this impression, that he left a will bequeathing all his 
property — not to his nephew — but to Sam Gray. Of 
course the will was disputed, and proved to have been a 
forgery, executed after the death of the alleged testator. 
The base ingratitude of Sam Gray disgusted many, but 
his blundering so far as to admit of detection, turned 
away from him most of his faithful followers who, up 
to that, believed firmly that he was above all the powers 
of law. Sam Gray for four or five years was seldom 
heard of outside Ballybay ; and the news of his death 
on 7th September, 1848, brought to memory many 
daring and desperate deeds of former times. Three of 
his sons came into notoriety. His son Edward was tried 
at Monaghan in 1866, for the murder of a Catholic at 
an election, and was acquitted. His son William con- 
tested the County Monaghan as a Liberal at the Parlia- 
mentary Election of 1867, and was defeated by the 
landlords and Orangemen ; and his son James, when 
released from prison, did not return home, but settled 
down in Tasmania, where he rose to a good position, and 
became member of the Tasmanian Parliament, and a 
democratic leader. 

In the end of the Thirties the tithes were added 
to the rents of the tenant farmers by the landlords, who, 
once they tasted the sweets of increasing the rents, and of 
evicting the tenants, follow it up with real energy. This 
had the effect of turning the Ribbon Society into an 
agrarian combination, which terrified the landlords of 
Monaghan by the terrible example of murders and 
outrages in several parts of Ireland, and they hit on a 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 91 

» 

plan which worked well for a time. The Government 
had always spies and informers in the Ribbon body, and 
the landlords outrivalled the Government by getting 
persons in their pay to join the Ribbon lodges on their 
estates. These secret agents of the landlords were gener- 
ally relatives of the bailiffs who could be relied upon 
to carry out the designs of their vile and tyrannical 
instructors, and in addition to giving information to the 
landlords of the intended doings of the Ribbonmen, 
managed to gather a strong party in each lodge who could 
turn away any danger that threatened their employers or 
any of the estate officials. Some of the larger landlords 
could boast that they swayed the whole Ribbon lodges 
of the barony in which their estates were situate. 
Though the landlords kept the Government officials 
informed of all the secrets of the Ribbonmen, the 
authorities seldom gave the landlords any idea of what 
they knew ; and the officials were often amused when 
complaints were made against their own informers by 
the landlords for the active part these prominent Ribbon- 
men were taking in propagating the society. When 
two neighbouring landlords or agents were on bad terms, 
their partisans in the Ribbon lodges generally fought, 
and by means of these secret agents endless quarrels 
and fights took place. There was seldom a market, 
and never a fair in Monaghan that riots did not occur and 
blood was not spilled in the streets — so that the Ribbon 
confederacy in Monaghan was dangerous to no one but 
its members, and would have continued so, had not one 
of the Ribbon leaders named John Rice of Ennis, in 
Clontubret,who was bettereducated,and had considerably 
more tact and ability than any of his brotherhood, taken 
upon himself to settle these quarrels. He succeeded well, 
in almost every case ; at first he performed these offices 
on principle, but ultimately he would not undertake such 
a task without receiving a fee of one pound from the lodge 
whose differences he was invited to settle. On all his 
journeys he rode a good horse, and wore a remarkable 
pair of top-boots and spurs. He went by the name of 



92 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

"the Captain," and though much looked up to by his 
ignorant followers, was laughed at by the landlords and 
Orange party; still the number of members of the con- 
federation was increasing and internal quarrelling was 
decreasing. By degrees the landlords began to get 
afraid, lest when Rice had the lodges cemented together, 
they might suffer from the unity, and the terrible deeds 
perpetrated in other parts of Ireland be brought to their 
own doors. However, they found Rice had a rival named 
Francis M'Adam of Tirmacmoe, and were not slow to see 
that great advantage might accrue to themselves from 
this if properly handled; so the landlord and Government 
spies and their friends joined the party which united 
with M'Adam' s admirers and Rice's enemies, and thus 
widened the split in the Ribbon society in that part 
of the county. Rice made many enemies by unjust 
decisions, and though M'Adam was not so clever, still 
he was just, and many thought more honest. The 
effects of this split were soon felt by increased rioting 
in Monaghan, Ballybay, and Castleblayney fairs. The 
Orange and landlord parties enjoyed these fights, and 
the police seldom interfered until all was over, and then 
arrested some of the victors of the rows. 

At this time, 1840, a man in Buncrana turned in- 
former. He was high up in the conspiracy, and all the 
leading men in Ribbon Ulster were known to him. Of 
course he knew John Rice, but did not know more of him 
than that he lived near Monaghan. Many of the leaders 
over the province were arrested and brought to Cavan 
to be identified, and the Government in Dublin could 
only think of the Rices of Leitrim being most opposed 
to British rule in the County Monaghan, and John 
Blayney Rice of Leitrim was arrested and brought by 
a strong force of police to Cavan, but when confronted 
with the informer, was found to be the wrong man, and 
was sent home again. 

The principal Ribbonman in Monaghan was John 
O'Hanlon, son of a blue-dyer, named James O'Hanlon, 
who resided in Back Street, where Mr. Patrick M'Kenna 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 93 

now lives. He interfered between Rice and M'Adarn 
and made a sort of temporary compromise. The land- 
lords loudly called on the Government to interfere, and 
both M'Adam and Rice were arrested. Both men 
carefully avoided bringing any incriminatory documents 
about their houses, but, strange to say, such documents 
were found in both houses. In Rice's house the find 
was most remarkable. Over the fire hung the famous 
top-boots, and the police-sergeant searched them as well 
as everything else in the house. A police-inspector 
entered the kitchen, and was told by the men that no 
documents had been found. The inspector thinking 
that the boots had not been searched, put his hand 
into them, and produced a bundle of documents, which 
of course he afterwards swore he found in one of 
them. At the Lent Assizes of 1840, both were put on 
their trials for conspiracy, and the Crown finding out 
beforehand that the trials were likely to be abortive, got 
adjournments for the following reason. During the 
Election of 1826, Rice so manoeuvred the Ribbonmen 
as to always have a powerful mob in the town, who 
continuously held the streets against the largest body of 
Orangemen that could be brought in. Mr. Westenra, 
the successful candidate,, was so pleased with Rice for 
his exertions on his behalf, that he promised Rice to be 
his friend, which he was, by using his influence amongst 
the jurors, so that no matter how the Government 
packed the jury, still it was certain that some one 
would get on who was under the influence of the Westenra 
family. On the other hand, the Right Hon. William 
Edward Lucas, who was politically and socially opposed 
to the Westenras, took M'Adam, who had been a tenant 
of his, under his protection. He had not the same 
influence with the jurors as Westenra, but had more 
influence with the Crown officials. So when M'Adam 
was put on his trial at the Summer Assizes of 1840, 
he persuaded the Crown officials not to pack the jury. 
After a long trial in which two police officers who proved 
the finding of documents, two informers, and two minor 



94 HISTOEICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

witnesses had given their evidence, the jury disagreed. 
The Government got greatly enraged at the result. 
The other landlords in the county openly accused Lucas 
and Westenra of making friends of the Ribbonmen to 
save their own skins. The Crown decided to change the 
venue in both cases to Armagh. However, Lucas saved 
M'Adam by undertaking that he would plead guilty 
next assizes. Accordingly, at the Lent Assizes of 1841, 
Francis M'Adam pleaded guilty, got three months, and 
was ordered to give security for good behaviour for 
seven years. Rice was brought to Armagh Assizes, and 
being convicted there, was transported for seven years. 
It has been frequently said that M'Adam turned in- 
former, but there is not a particle of evidence to sub- 
stantiate this charge. All his plans had been betrayed, 
many of his friends turned against him, and seeing, 
though rather late, the uselessness of further continuing 
leader of a body amongst whom there were so many 
traitors, he decided to surrender to the Government 
and retire from this useless conspiracy for the remainder 
of his days. 

In a former Chapter I boasted that there were no 
informers of any importance in our county, in the time 
of the United Irishmen; but, alas! I cannot now speak 
in such triumphant terms of my county. On the con- 
trary, the treachery and duplicity of the young men at 
the period of which I write, is enough to make an Irish- 
man, much more a Monaghan man, hang his head for 
shame. The Government, as I have already said, had 
secret agents among the Ribbonmen, in every county, 
but these could not give sufficient information regarding 
the county lodges. Again there was hardly a lodge in 
the county in which some member was not in private 
communication with the police; every police sergeant 
had one or more men, betraying all the secrets to him. 
There was another set of informers, who communicated 
only with the officers of the police, and these were 
divided into two classes — one, the members of which were 
intended to appear as witnesses when any prosecution 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 95 

was brought, and the other, whose names were never 
divulged, and without the other informers knowing it, 
kept a watch on them, and on all the Ribbon leaders. 
Some of the most active members of the society in the 
county were found amongst these secret agents. To so 
great an extent did this custom of betraying their com- 
rades lay hold of the Ribbonmen, that the police refused 
information from several. A story is told of two neigh- 
bours having a quarrel in a lodge, and both made up 
their minds to inform, and both came to Monaghan with 
the intention not only of betraying each other, but of 
betraying the whole lodge. Both men met at the door 
of Sub-Inspector M'Kelvey's house, just as the door was 
opened by M'Kelvey, and the worthy trio stood spell- 
bound. M'Kelvey was first to speak, and asked what 
they wanted, whereupon both the Ribbonmen took to 
their heels in opposite directions ! 

There was no great national object in the Society. 
Some wished it to be run on national and anti-English 
grounds — these were the majority of the rank and file — 
while some wished it only for protection against the 
landlords. This class included a large proportion of the 
leaders. Others wished it as a counter society against 
the Orangemen, and others again wished it only as a 
society for fighting amongst themselves, and encouraging 
factions. Most of the informers belonged to this latter 
class. O'Connell's speeches were being then exten- 
sively read throughout the country, and they incul- 
cated a strong national feeling, and roused the 
dormant patriotic sentiments in the breasts of many 
Ribbonmen. Nine out of every ten who read or 
heard read the speeches, took all O'Connell's declar- 
ations about peaceful methods of regaining their inde- 
pendence, to mean the very opposite of what he said. 
So some of the Ribbonmen pressed to have the society 
turned into a regular revolutionary body ; the unprin- 
cipled men who headed the different lodges in this 
county resisted the change, and numbers of young men 
left the society, and joined themselves to the remnants 



96 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

of older societies, which still were found in a few places, 
especially in the barony of Dartrey. These societies 
were the " United Irish Sons of Freedom" and " Sons of 
the Shamrock." A man named Thomas M'Manus, of 
Clones, made a successful effort to unite both of these 
bodies into one society, and the Government at once 
pounced on him, and at the Lent Assizes of 1842, he 
got six months' imprisonment. The leaders, urged by 
John O'Hanlon and fearing to lose most of the young 
men, made the society in the County Monaghan more 
national. The party who wished to employ the con- 
federation for their own selfish ends objected to this, 
and caused a new split in the body. They told the 
more ignorant members, if they made allegiance to the 
Queen part of the oath, nothing could be done on them by 
the law. Of course the anti-English party objected to this 
oath, which contained the following paragraphs, " I 
solemnly declare and promise in and true allegiance to 
her Majesty Queen Victoria," and after pledges of 
secrecy, obedience, etc., "that I will not join any other 
society whatever, not meaning trade society or soldier." 
In 1843, the authorities in Dublin Castle sent down 
word to the local authorities, complaining that in some 
neighbouring counties the officials had not only the 
names of the Ribbon leaders in those counties, but of 
every man in the society, and all their plots and doings, 
and at half the expense that was being paid to the 
County Monaghan informers. The stipendiary magis- 
trate, and county and sub-inspectors were at their wits' 
ends to manage this, and in the middle of their difficulty 
the secret agent for the Monaghan district, who was 
intended to be put in the witness box, died — so they had 
to induce one of their private spies, named Thomas 
Gillan, to consent to be public informer. Gillan had 
been sworn in a Ribbonman at Drumlish, in the County 
Longford, in 1827, and to all appearances was one of 
the most active members of the Ribbon confederation, 
swore in men by the hundred, and urged the extreme 
and revolutionary propaganda. In fact he was one of 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 97 

the most trusted leaders and knew all the secrets, which 
of course he was careful to confide to the police officers. 
He was a while at Carrick, and a while at Castleblayney, 
and was finally sent to his native parish of Donagb, 
where the society was very strong owing to the discon- 
tent caused by wholesale evictions at Glasslough. 

Every three months the passwords were changed, 
and these passwords were called " Renewals ;" and the 
June fair of Monaghan 1843 was appointed for the 
heads of the lodges to get their renewals. The pass- 
words were arranged in Dublin, and sent out through 
each district by trusted messengers. The County Mon- 
aghan Government officials at once hit on a plan of 
directing some of their spies to move that not only the 
Ribbon leaders of the district of Monaghan, but of the 
whole county, and of part of Armagh, should assemble 
and bring with them lists of all the members in each 
district. By this means they would not only catch all 
the leaders in a trap, but get on their persons the 
documents which would enable them to know the name 
and rank of every Ribbon man in the County Monaghan. 
Gillan was first to tell of this arrangement to Sub- 
Inspector M'Kelvey, who ran delighted with the impor- 
tant news to the Stipendiary Magistrate, who smiled at 
M'Kelvey, and told him that it was he (the Stipendiary) 
who had arranged the whole matter. M'Kelvey was 
greatly cut to think that there were informers who 
would not be entrusted to his care and knowledge. 
However, the whole matter was arranged, and the 
messenger, Pat Cavanagh of Bridgeacrin, County Louth, 
arrived on the evening before the fair with the 
"Renewals," and stopped in Francis Mohan's public- 
house near the market house. Some leaders from the 
southern part of the county suspected that some sort of 
a trap was being laid, and not only did not go themselves, 
but sent word to all who were likely to be in Monaghan to 
stop away. The Armagh men could not come in conse- 
quence of the funeral of an important Ribbonman in 
their neighbourhood, which they had to attend; but two 

G 



98 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

men, named Gubby and Gray, were sent by them for the 
" renewals" on Sunday evening,and John 0'Hanlon,know- 
ing them, told Cavanagh he might give them, which he 
did. Thomas Gillan, who lived at Sillis, was directed by 
the police to be early at the meeting, which was to be 
held in Francis Mohan's, and not to stir out of the house 
until all were arrested, lest anything should be hidden 
which the authorities might want. The other spy was 
in a window in the opposite side of the street, and was 
to give a signal to a detective when all the Ribbonmen 
had arrived. The hour appointed was 2 p.m., and only 
the local men turned up, and the spy waited and waited. 
The men inside began to get impatient waiting for the 
arrival of the southerners, and in order to while away 
the time, Gillan suggested that those who were there 
should produce their lists, and that all the men would 
be counted. Several of those present would wait no 
longer, and Gillan, in order to keep the rest together, 
called for drink, and while they were at it, he said he 
would go out to see was there any sign of the others. 
The moment he got out he ran for M'Kelvey and told 
him in breathless haste, that unless he came at once the 
assemblage would have been scattered. Before he left 
the room he saw John O'Hanlon put the paper with his 
copies of the renewals, into his vest pocket. When the 
drink was brought up all the papers on the table were 
moved to one corner of it, and Mohan's servant girl, 
Bridget Woods, who was serving the drink round, appears 
to have had a general idea of what was going on, for on 
glancing out of the window she observed that the house 
was being surrounded by police. She swept the whole pile 
of papers off the table into her apron, and ran with them 
out of the room and down the stairs. The Ribbonmen 
shouted with rage at her, and one of them ran down the 
stairs after her. They passed three policemen ascending, 
who took no notice of the girl running down stairs 
pursued by a man ; but when the man observed the police 
pouring into the house he turned with the intention of 
running up and warning his companions. Some of 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 99 

the police below shouted to those who were ascending 
not to let him up, and a sergeant, whom he and the girl 
had passed, turned round, caught the Ribbonman by the 
neck, and pushed him down stairs, and the police below 
hustled him out of the house. The girl threw the 
papers into the boiler on the kitchen fire, so that those 
who took punch and tea on that day in Mohan's drank 
down the passwords, secrets, and names of all the 
Ribbonmen in and around Monaghan. The Ribbonman 
who had been so unceremoniously hustled out by 
the police ran round to a small house on the site of 
which Mr. Patrick Nolan's house now stands, and in 
which then lodged one Arthur M'Gee, a sawyer, who was 
high up in the Ribbon confederation, and who held a 
large number of documents referring to the society. 
When he reached this house he ran to a chest in which 
he knew the documents were, and being informed by 
M*'Gee's landlady that the proprietor was from home 
and had the keys with him, he broke open the chest 
with a spade, and took out a large number of papers, 
which he then and there burned in the fire. Meantime 
M'Kelvey and the head-constable and several other 
police arrested all the Ribbonmen in the room in 
Mohan's, and searched all those whom they caught in 
it — the head-constable at once drawing forth out of 
O'Hanlon's pocket the only document amongst the 
whole party. The police were awfully " sold" at not 
getting any more documents and marched the prisoners 
otf. The Head and a few other police proceeded direct to 
M'Gee's lodgings in Mill Street, and went straight to the 
chest, when the Head exclaimed — " The chest is here, but 
there was some one at it before us." The prisoners were 
let out on bail, and Gillan was the first man to whom they 
confided all that had happened. O'Hanlon told him 
that it was lucky the police had not searched his house, 
for there were fourteen copies of the renewals on the 
attic. Messengers were forthwith dispatched to every 
district where renewals had been sent to direct them all 
to be burned. Gillan being a reliable man was sent by 



100 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

Pat M'Kenna of Mullaloughan to Armagh after Gubby 
and Gray, and was present when both burned their 
renewals. At the following July Assizes, 1843, John 
O'Hanlon of Monaghan, Alexander M'Kenna, Mulla- 
brack Shaw, Pat M'Kenna, Mullaloughan, William 
M'Kenna, Derryhosb, Patrick Duffy, Laragb, Mick 
Connolly, Lisnashannagb, and Patrick Cavanagh, from 
Bridgeacrin, were charged for conspiracy; the Crown 
got the cases adjourned in the hope of getting more 
evidence ; but without success, for all the Ribbonmen 
got cautious and suspicious. It is necessary when an 
informer proves against a person for his evidence to be 
corroborated ; but the only corroboration the Government 
had was the scrap of paper found in O'Hanlon's pocket. 
All were indicted again at the Lent Assizes of 1844, as 
well as Edward Kelly and Charles Kelly, who had left 
the room between Gillan's going out and the police 
coming in, as was also Gubby and Gray. We can 
imagine the rage and disgust of the Ribbonmen, when 
they beheld their trusted confederate Gillan enter the 
box, and tell the well-known tale of all informers. 
O'Hanlon was the only man convicted. Of course it 
was the renewals in his own handwriting found in his 
vest pocket, which corroborated Gillan, that convicted 
him. He was transported for seven years, and the 
others were discharged. The following is a copy of the 
renewals found on O'Hanlon: "How do you do, sir — I 
am quite content — In what cause — Our present laws — 
O may all true Irishmen know agree — yes, and France 
will join us speedily. Are you persevering, sir — My 
cause is just. Mark, T.G. 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 101 



CHAPTER VIII. 

secret societies — continued. 

After the arrests and trials described in the foregoing 
Chapter, the Ribbon society in this county was torn 
into fragments. No one could trust his neighbour, and 
the members began to suspect and accuse each other, 
so that factions sprang up in all directions. The 
Nation newspaper now began to make itself felt through 
the country, and the more intelligent and educated 
nationalists in town and country began to conceive the 
idea of armed insurrection, and for three or four years 
the young men began to turn their attention to the 
Ration office, and from thence take all their ideas. 

Three of our townsmen held prominent positions in 
the Young Ireland movement, viz., Charles Gavan* 
Duffy, Terence Bellew M'Manus, and Thomas Devin 
Reilly, and the men of our town and county were longing 
for the time when they would be under their leadership. 
Several clubs were formed in the towns and villages of 
the county. 

The M'Mahon club was formed in Monaghan, and 
most of the young men in the town joined it. A couple 
of preliminary meetings were held ; one of its members 
kept Sub-Inspector M'Kelvey constantly informed of 
all their doings. At the first regular meeting of the 
club, two shop assistants, who were members, and who 
appear to have been filled with more revolutionary ideas 
than with patriotism, fell out and fought about which of 
them should possess a certain local demesne and resi- 
dence (Cornacassa), after the revolution. Some of the 
more sensible and patriotic members reproved them, 
while many got up and left. The intending chairman 
of the club was met in the street by one of the latter, 
who advised him to have nothing to do with it, and 
both returned home. While they were yet in the street 



102 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

M'Kelvey and a number of constabulary entered and 
seized the books, papers, etc. The police had been a 
little "too previous," and no regular conspiracy could be 
proved, so nothing more was heard of the matter ; but 
the club never met again. 

The old Ribbon leaders lost most of their power, as all 
the young men turned their attention towards the great 
National insurrection which they expected at any mo- 
ment. The famine and evictions came on in 1847 and 
1848, and the Young Ireland party were smashed up. 
The Government served out a large number of old fire- 
arms amongst the Orangemen, and on the 12th July 
1848 every Orangeman in the county was invited into 
Monaghan to make a great armed demonstration. 
Thousands of them marched through Monaghan town, 
most of them in military order, carrying guns and 
bayonets. The demon of bigotry had been inculcated 
into them to such an extent that they thronged into town 
under the most degrading circumstances. Many men 
marched that dav who had lived for weeks and months 
exclusively on Indian meal. Many marched that day 
who were living in hovels after being evicted from their 
farms ; while many more came with the notice to quit 
and ejectment hanging over their heads, and starvation 
and exile staring them in the face. In no part of the 
county did they come in contact with the Catholics, but 
in many instances they came into collision with one 
another. When the whiskey of which they partook, 
acting on the half fed stomachs, had maddened them, 
in several instances the firearms were used, and several 
men were missing after it. In all cases these rows 
were hushed up, but in one terrible instance it was 
reported to have been an accident caused by a number 
of muskets which had been put in a cart going off, 
through the shaking of the cart on a road in Killevan. 
The only instance which ever came into the courts was 
that of a man who was killed on the Ballybay road. The 
defence made out that it was an accident. 

When the famine had passed,- and O'Connell was 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 103 

dead, and Mitchel, Reilly, Meagher, O'Brien, etc., in 
prison, all hope of the liberty of Ireland was lost. The 
landlords let loose the ejectments on the beggared and 
starving tenantry, who had no leader to look to, and 
no hope to expect, so they became an easy prey to the 
old Ribbon leaders, who laid hold on them, and the 
society became revived all over the county. In the 
southern end of the County Armagh the Ribbon con- 
federacy laid real hold on the people, and several murders 
were committed, and attacks made upon the landlords, 
agents, and bailiffs, with the result that abatements were 
made in the rents, and evictions became rare in the 
locality. Two notable incidents followed in Monaghan, 
from the recitals of which may be gathered many whole- 
some lessons by young men who are in danger of joining 
secret societies. One was the murder of Thomas 
Douglas Bateson, Lord Templetown's agent ; and the 
other a conspiracy to murder William Stewart Trench, 
agent, Patrick M'Ardle and Patrick M'Mahon, bailiffs, 
of the Marquis of Bath. 

The tenants on the estates over which Bateson was 
agent made several demands for abatements of their 
rents. They were unable to pay the full rent, and, con- 
sequently, ejectments were extensively served. Several 
other things tended to make Bateson objectionable. It 
is said he rivalled Lord Leitrim in many of his ways, so 
that there was much personal enmity towards him. 
In the harvest of 1851, those tenants of the estate 
managed by Bateson, who wereRibbonmen, held a meet- 
ing, and a man named William M'Ardle, then of Creighan, 
but afterwards of Monaghan, presided. The following 
names are mentioned as having been present : Edward 
M'Guinness, James Woods, Bernard Rooney, of Tully- 
cashey ; Francis Flanigan, and Pat Cooney, of Killy- 
racken ; as well as several others. The position of the 
tenants was discussed, and the hopelessness of the ma- 
jority of them being able to pay the full year's rent that 
year was agreed upon. The success of the Crossmaglen 
men was pointed out, and it was thought that nothing 



104 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

short of the assassination of Bateson could save them. 
They, therefore, came to the conclusion to hire some 
Armagh men who had succeeded on former occasions in 
murder and outrage. An indemnity fund was started, 
and those present deposited £20 with James Woods, 
who was to return it when the amount was collected. 
Several men started to collect money to pay the intended 
murderers, and M'Ardle engaged a desperate character, 
named Neil Quinn, who was said to have assisted at no 
less than six murders and attempts at murder. He also 
communicated with another Armagh Bibbonman named 
Bryan Grant, who was, to all outward appearances, a 
good and charitable man, and no doubt would have 
been a good citizen, had not his patriotism driven him 
into the Ribbon society, and at once he became one of 
the desperadoes of the times. M'Ardle told Grant to 
bring an assistant with him, and he engaged a hard-up 
neighbour named Pat Nogher by telling him the large 
sum of money that would be paid for the killing of 
Bateson. The three hired assassins met some of the 
local Ribbonmen in Castleblayney on the last market 
day of November 1851, but Bateson did not come into 
town that day. At some of the interviews Quinn com- 
plained as to the employment of Nogher, whom he did 
not trust. Some of the others who were present, had some 
grumbling about the perpetration of the intended crime, 
upon which Cooney said, " If you all scared at it, I will 
do it myself." On the December fair day, most of the 
conspirators assembled again in Castleblayney. M'Guin- 
ness brought Grant down to the Court-house and pointed 
out Bateson to him at the Petty Sessions. Cooney brought 
a pair of pistols. All slept in Castleblayney that night. 
On the next day a messenger was sent to two brothers 
named Kelly, who had no connection with the conspiracy, 
but who were suspected by the police as likely to be 
implicated in any conspiracy against Bateson owing to 
wrongs they had suffered at his hands, to advise the 
Kellys to spend the next evening at the police barracks 
in ball playing. The Kellys either did not understand 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 105 

the meaning of the message, or considered they were safe 
enough in company with country people, so they went to 
a dance, instead of following the advice tendered them. 

On the evening of 4th December 1851, a rumour 
spread through Castleblayney and the neighbourhood, to 
the effect that Bateson was likely to be murdered that 
evening, but somehow the rumour never reached the 
authorities, or if it did they did not believe it. On the 
same evening Quinn, Grant, and Nogher went out from 
Blayney and loitered on the road near Bateson's farm at 
Corratanty. Bateson came down the lane, and was 
followed by Grant carrying a pistol, and he was soon joined 
by Quinn, who also carried a pistol, Nogher keeping 
watch on the road for fear of surprise. Quinn fired 
first and hit Bateson in the back of the head. Grant's 
pistol missed fire. Bateson staggered backward and 
forward, his hat fell off, and he staggered over and fell 
against the ditch. Grant and Quinn leaped on him, 
beat him with stones and the butts of their pistols, and 
kicked him to death. The three murderers ran off 
across the country to their own homes. 

Though the news of this terrible crime was expected 
by the country people, still, when the fact was made 
known, there was a great sensation throughout the 
whole county. Shortly before this time the Ribbon 
society, which had been for a long time dormant in the 
barony of Farney, was revived by the arrival of navvies 
who were working at the Irish North-Western Railway. 
Among these was a young man named Thomas Hodgens, 
who came from Dromiskin, in the County Louth, and 
who propagated the Ribbon society throughout the 
youth of Farney. He was brave and reckless, and had a 
determined and decisive manner, as well as a genial tem- 
perament which enabled him to ingratiate himself with 
young men, the effect of which was to give a great 
impetus to the influence and spread of the confederation 
in Farney, so much so, indeed, as to cause grave alarm to 
the landlords and their myrmidoms. The people of 
Farney were then suffering from the iron rule of two 



106 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

agents, Messrs. Trench and Morant. The former was agent 
for the Marquis of Bath ; the latter for Mr. Shirley. Some 
of the farmers who were Ribbonmencameto the decision 
of murdering Mr. Trench and his bailiffs, M'Ardle and 
M'Mahon ; and they engaged Hodgens and a reckless 
man named Thornton, nicknamed "Hairyman," of a 
bad moral character, to commit the crimes. £20 was 
the price they were to be paid for shooting Trench, and 
£10 each for the bailiffs. On the 7th January 1852, they 
tried to assassinate M'Mahon. They were assisted by 
one James Treanor. Both Hodgens and Thornton fired 
at him, and both shots missed, and M'Mahon escaped 
unhurt. Some of the Eibbonmen were more anxious 
to have Trench shot, while others did their best to save 
him. There is reason to believe that these latter were 
in the pay of Trench, and that their object was to save 
Trench's skin at all costs, while letting the Ribbonmen 
commit themselves by murdering or attempting to murder 
the bailiffs. Trench— like Mick M'Quaid— evidently 
thought that if the shots were intended for him, they 
would not hit him, and that if the bailiffs were shot they 
could be easily replaced. So Trench's agents prevailed 
and turned their unfortunate dupes' attention on the 
bailiffs. Several arrangements were made for attempts 
on M'Ardle's life, but all fell through, until 29fch January 
1852, when Hodgens and Thornton hid themselves at 
the corner of a lane, down which M'Ardle was expected 
to drive in his gig on his return from Oarrickmacross 
market. Before M'Ardle left Oarrickmacross, one 
Thomas Gartlan of Kinderacloy, whom M'Ardle had 
befriended in getting his brother's farm, met him and 
told him that if he went home his life was not his own. 
Whether Gartlan was an informer, or, as he alleged, 
merely overheard a conversation between Hodgens and 
Thornton, is not at all clear. At all events, when 
M'Ardle heard the news, he informed the police, who 
proceeded to the place where Thornton and Hodgens 
were waiting for M'Ardle. 

We must now return to where we left Bateson dead 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 107 

on the road in Corratanty, on 4th December 1851. The 
Government were determined to hang someone, so they 
arrested the brothers Kelly, and proceeded to make up 
a case against them, with the full determination of hang- 
ing them. The local landlords, through the press and 
through the Castle officials, worked up a scare and induced 
the Government to issue a special commission. Accord- 
ingly, in the end of January 1852, the two Chief Justices 
Blackburn and Monahan proceeded to Monaghan to 
hold the special commission and extraordinary assizes, 
accompanied with all the military pomp with which the 
first assizes was held in Monaghan in the reign of 
Elizabeth. 

The first case brought forward was that of Owen 
and Francis Kelly, who were charged, together with a 
person unknown, with the murder of Thomas Douglas 
Bateson. The Crown counsel, led by the Solicitor- 
General (commonly called " Go-to-hell Hughes"), prose- 
cuted, and the prisoners were defended by Isaac Butt 
and Samuel Ferguson. The prisoners refused to join in 
their challenges, and only one (Francis) was tried, and 
a jury consisting of eleven Protestants and one Catholic, 
and nearly all were landlords' agents, or those who were 
supposed to sympathise with them. The trial began on 
Tuesday morning, the 28th January, and lasted for three 
days. Thirty-two witnesses were examined by the Crown, 
amongst whom were two who swore positively to having 
seen the Kellys kill Bateson. The Stipendiary Magis- 
trate, named Howley, worked up the prosecution with 
considerable ability and energy ; but when in the 
witness box, he made admissions in cross-examination 
by Mr. Butt, which considerably shook the Crown case. 
Great and eloquent speeches were delivered by Mr. 
Butt and the Solicitor-General, both for and against 
Kelly. The jury retired about 6 p.m. to consider their 
verdict, and at 8.30 p.m. they were called out, but had 
not agreed. They were locked up all night, and at 
9 the following morning were again called out, and 
as they had not agreed were again locked up until 5 p.m. 



108 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

that evening — when three of the jurymen took ill, one 
rather seriously. They were then discharged without 
finding a verdict. Trench afterwards wrote a book called 
the " Realities of Irish Life," and in the first edition of 
that book — for the purpose of blackening his Catholic 
fellow-countrymen — he alleged that the eleven Protestant 
jurors were for a conviction in the case referred to above, 
and the one Catholic against it. This lie was nailed by 
Mr. Butt ; and Trench afterwards had, however reluc- 
tantly, to perform that most disagreeable, but ofttimes 
necessary, dietetic feat, viz., " swallow the leek,' ; in this 
matter. The fact was that nine were for an acquittal, 
viz. : Richard Allen Minnett, John Moorehead, David 
Smyth, Hubert Prendergast Kernan, Humphrey Jones, 
John Goudy, Allen Dudgeon, William Millar Ryan, and 
Andrew Clarke. Kelly was again put on his trial 
before a jury, exclusively Protestant, and almost the 
same scene enacted. This time the jury were equally 
divided. Thus, two innocent men escaped with their 
lives through the honesty and uprightness of these 
Protestant jurors, many of whom were agents and land- 
lords. 

During the progress of these trials, the news reached 
Monaghan of the capture of Hodgens and Thornton, and 
the conspiracy to shoot Paddy M'Ardle. Hodgens and 
Thornton were hurried to Monaghau before the Com- 
mission, but the only charge which could be brought 
against them in the hurry was, that of having arms in a 
proclaimed district, for which they were each sentenced 
to two years' imprisonment. 

The other trials at the Commission, were William 
Randal M'Donnell, for sending a threatening letter to 
the late Thomas Edmund Wright. The trial was post- 
poned in this case ; and Owen Burnes, who was charged 
with a Whiteboy offence, was let out on bail. Thus 
ended the great Special Commission, which was got up 
with the principal object of hanging two innocent men. 

During the Spring following, a quarrel took place 
amongst the Castleblayney Ribbonmen about the funds 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 109 

collected for the murder of Bateson, which, it was 
alleged, the collectors had embezzled, and one of the 
leading conspirators, Patrick Cooney, swore informations 
against a man named Woods for holding the money. 
This gave the Government the first real insight they 
got of the conspirators. About the same time a beggar- 
woman called Marra Ruadh (or Red Mary), told the 
police that she had been lodged for charity in the house 
of Bryan Grant on the night of the murder, and she 
had seen his wife wash bloodstains off his shirt-sleeves. 
This at once put the Government on the right track, 
and all the conspirators named by Cooney, including 
Cooney himself, as well as Grant and Nogher, and shortly 
afterwards Neil Quinn, were arrested. 

Several of the Farney men were also arrested, and 
every inducement was held out to several of the prisoners 
to get them to inform, and for several assizes the trials 
were postponed in order to tire out those of the prisoners 
who were inclined to surrender. 

At last, in the summer of 1853, rumours began to 
spread of informers arising amongst the prisoners. And 
when the assizes opened in the summer of 1853 it was 
known that Nogher and Thornton had turned informers 
on their respective companions, and at the summer 
assizes 1853, Quinn, Grant, and Cooney were indicted 
for the murder of Bateson. The trial began on the 9th, 
and ended on the 15th with a split jury. There were 
several gaps in the case of the Crown, and confidence was 
much shaken by the positive manner the Crown had 
brought forward the case against the Kellys. At the 
same assizes the Bill was thrown out by the Grand Jury 
against Thomas Hodgens, James Corrigan, Pat M'Mahon, 
James Marron, Bryan Roddy, John Connolly, Patrick 
Breen, Patrick Curtis, Thomas Gartlan, Hugh Martin, 
Patrick Roddy, James Treanor, Hugh M'Namarrigg, 
James Martin, Bryan and Peter Muckian, for conspiracy 
to murder William Stewart Trench. 

At the following assizes of Lent 1854, Thomas Hodgens 
and Patrick Breen were indicted for conspiracy to murder 



110 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

Paddy M'Ardle. It was the original intention of the 
Government to hang Hodgens, Thornton, and Treanor. 
The officials found out that they could not do without 
the evidence of Thornton; and Treanor escaped out 
of Carrick Bridewell, after knocking down the policeman 
who tried to catch him, and after an exciting chase, 
succeeded in getting clean away, so they added the 
name of Paddy Breen to the indictment. Breen, who 
was a barrow-man, was a simple fellow. His connection 
with the conspiracy was that it was in his house Hodgens 
and Thornton lodged, before the attempted murder, and 
that he had brought a message to them concerning the 
whereabouts of M'Ardle. The two men were tried and 
sentenced to death. At the same assizes, Neil Quinn, 
Br van Grant, and Patrick Oooney were sentenced to 
death for the murder of Bateson ; while there was a 
split jury on William M'Ardle and Edward M'Guinness 
for the conspiracy to murder Bateson. It is worth 
noting that two of the jurymen who sat on the trials of 
Quinn, Grant, and Cooney, also sat on the first trial of 
Francis Kelly. One on that occasion was for the acquittal 
of Kelly, while the other showed equal alacrity to hang 
the innocent man, as he afterwards showed to hang the 
guilty ones. 

During the interval between the passing of these 
sentences and the time appointed for their execution, 
the Government made strenuous efforts to procure 
information of the secret working of the Ribbon society 
throughout the country from some one or other of 
the prisoners, and Hodgens was selected for the purpose, 
he being supposed to have an intimate knowledge of 
its working in the counties of Louth, Monaghan, 
Armagh, and Down. Trench's services in this con- 
nection were accepted by the Government, and being 
posted by Thornton he sent his confidential clerk to 
Hodgens, to whom life, liberty, and reward were offered 
if he should give information to the Crown. He took a 
day to consider the matter, and during that day he made 
his peace with God, received the Sacrament of Penance 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. Ill 

from Father Bermingham, now Very Rev. Dean 
Berminghan, P.P. of Carrickmacross ; and next day 
when again approached on the subject, he rejected all 
such degrading offers, and faced death rather than stain 
his name as an informer. He and Breen were hanged, 
as also were Neil Quinn, Bryan Grant, and Patrick 
Cooney. 

At the same assizes, William M'Ardle and Eiward 
M'Guinness were tried for conspiracy, and the jury split. 
They were tried again in summer 1854, and in summer 
1855. Each time the jury was packed, and composed 
exclusively of Protestants, and on each occasion the jury 
split, so the Government let out both on their own 
recognizances. This brought to an end the long sets of 
trials of Ribbonmen in the County Monaghan. 

Still, all through the county, the lodges of the Ribbon 
society kept up a precarious existence. Rows and riots 
occurred between themselves from time to time, and the 
informers still flourished for the ten following years, 
and up to the early Sixties all national hope appeared 
to have vanished from the County Monaghan. 

In the Spring of 1864 a tall well-looking man came 
on foot into the county from the direction of Armagh. 
What his errand was may be gathered, when I mention 
that he was no other than Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa. 
Though in latter times he has become ridiculous, still, 
his first visit here was as pioneer of a great movement, 
and he ought always to be remembered with warm 
feelings of gratitude in the County of Monaghan. 

The history of the Fenian movement is so recent, that 
I will not venture to deal with it on this occasion. 
Though its members suffered from informers, spies, and 
traitors, as the members of all such societies that pre- 
ceded it, still it came at the time of the awakening of our 
race ; and the seeds sown, and the doctrines taught, laid 
sure and deep the foundation for the great organisation 
of twenty years after. The grand national principle 
worked into the mind of our country by the early 
Fenians will never die. 



112 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

Good Irishmen often wonder how, in spite of their 
better judgment, they feel a sort of sympathy with the 
conspirators and murderers of former times ; how we feel 
sad at the overthrow of a conspiracy, or rejoice at the 
successful escape of a criminal. This feeling is explained 
by, 1st, the old saying that " blood is thicker than water," 
and all these misguided Ribbonmen were of our own 
race and religion ; 2nd, the object for which they 
struggled was to relieve the suffering of our down- 
trodden fellow-countrymen ; and 3rd, their enemies were 
ours and our country's enemies. 

The principal lesson taught by the foregoing pages to 
the young men and old men of our country is, that it is 
perfectly useless, not to say wicked and dangerous, to 
entrust themselves into a secret oath-bound society. 
All such have failed in the past, bringing suffering to 
the noblest hearts, and sorrow to the fondest. Thank 
God, experience, coupled with education, has made the 
great national organisation of the last thirteen years 
the most successful in any country of recent times. 
The doctrine of passive resistance has been brought to 
great perfection. Societies not oath-bound have kept 
their secrets better than any of the old oath-bound 
secret organisations. 

We have passed through a great social revolution 
without almost feeling it, with the least bloodshed or 
suffering that ever marked a great change. Our national 
hopes are now stronger and better founded, and our 
prospects are brighter than they have been for centuries. 
Still, let us look back on those who had the same end 
in view, yet, through ignorance or passion, adopted wrong 
means, with a sigh for those who suffered, and a prayer 
for those who died. 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 



113 



CHAPTER IX. 



CONCLUSION. 



The foregoing collection of disconnected papers are now 
brought to a conclusion, and if the book meets with any 
sort of success, the writer hopes to be able to produce 
in time a more regular history of our town and county. 

The following figures which show the decay of the 
manhood of our town, is the saddest part of this book. 
Our population, which in 1841 was over 4,000, is now 
barely 2,000, for if the number of inmates in the institu- 
tions be subtracted from the 2,938, the population will 
be found less than half what it was in 1841. All our 
industries are gone, and the trade of our town consists 
almost exclusively in vending English manufactured 
goods and foreign grown produce to the country 
farmers of the neighbourhood, and the purchase of 
raw material from the farmers. 

The writer does not here wish to prose over our 
public sorrows, but concludes with the following sad 



figures : — 



The Population of Monaghan- 
town, parish, and county. 







Town. 


Parish. 


County. 


In 1841 


was 


4,130 


. 12,160 


200,442 


„ 1851 


>> 


3,484 , 


9,690 


. 141,823 


„ 1861 


j> 


3,910 . 


9,302 


. 126,482 


„ 1871 


» 


3,632 , 


8,243 


, 114,969 


„ 1881 


»» 


3,369 


7,898 . 


102,748 


„ 1891 


>» 


2,938 . 


7,014 


. 86,206 



The increase in the population of the town in 1861 
was due to the number of workmen employed in con- 



114 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MONAGHAN. 

structing the railway, and the population was kept up 
in 1871 by the building of the lunatic asylum. In 1733, 
those engaged in taking the hearth money enumerated 
the Catholic families in the County to have been 5,096, 
and the Protestant families, 2,838. After the Crom- 
wellian wars, there appears to have been only 133 people 
living in the town — 101 Irish, and 32 English. 

The present Religious Denominations of 

Catholics Protestants Presbyterians Methodists Others 

the Town are : 2,000 556 331 34 17 

the County are: 63,154 11,247 10,876 489 440 



115 



APPENDIX I. 
List of M.P.'s of Borough of Monaghan. 

1613, Apr. 19 Thomas Reeves, T.C. Dublin. 

„ Henry Conlie, Gent. Monaghan. 

1634, June 23 Arthur Blaney, Esq. Shien Castle. 

,, Eichard Blaney, Esq. Monaghan. 

1639, Feby. Arthury Culme. Esq. Lisnamain, Cavan. 
„ William Cadogan, Esq. Liscarten, Meath. 

1661, Apr. 25 Thomas Vincent, Alderman Irishtown, 

Dublin. 
,, Joseph Fox, Esq. Dublin. 

1692, Sep. 26 Charles Deering, Esq. Dublin. 

,, Edward Ford, Esq. Dublin. 

1695, Aug. 10 Robert Echlin, Esq. Monaghan. 

„ Charles Deering, Esq. Dublin. 

1699 Col. Robert Echlin. Monaghan. 

Charles Deering, Esq. Dublin. 

1703-1713 /'Sir Thomas Prendergast, 

Knight and Baronet. 
Sir Richard Vernon, 

Knight and Baronet. 
Sir Alexander Cairnes, Bart., 
in place of Sir Thos. Pren- 
dergast, Deed. 
1713-1714 Francis Lucas, Esq. 

Richard Pockrish, Esq. 
1715-1727 Francis Lucas, Esq. 

Hugh Willoughby. 
1727-1760 Sir Alexander Cairnes, Bart. 

Francis Lucas, Esq. 
Sir Henry Cairnes, Bart., in 

place of Sir Alex. Cairnes, Deed. 
William Blair, Esq., in place 
of Sir H. Cairnes, Deed. 
Baptist Johnson, Esq., in 

place of Fras. Lucas, Deed. 
Oliver Anketell,Esq., in place 
of Baptist Johnson, Deed. 



116 APPENDIX. 

1761-1768 The Rt. Hon. Wm. Henry 

Fortescue. 
Richard Dawson, Esq. 
Richard Power, Esq., 

in place of Richd. Dawson, Deed. 
1769-1776 The Rt. Hon. Wm. Henry 

Fortescue. 
Colonel Roper Cunningham. 
Henry Westenra, Esq., in 

place of Wm. Henry Fortescue, 

Lord Claremont. 
1776-1783 The Rt. Hon. James Fortescue. 

Major-General Robert Cunningham. 
James Dobson, in place of 

Rt. Hon. James Fortescue, 

who made his election for 

Louth. 
1783-1790 The Rt. Hon. Lt.-General 

Robert Cunningham. 
Thos. James Fortescue, Esq. 
The Rt. Hon. Theophilius Jones, 

in place of T. J. Fortescue, 

who made his election for 

Louth. 
1790-1797 The Rt. Hon. Lt.-General 

Cunningham. 
The Rt. Hon. Theophilius Jones. 
Cromwell Price, Esq., in place 

of Rt. Hon. T. Jones, who 

made his election for Leitrim Co. 
Henry Westenra, Esq., in 

place of Lt.-Gen. Cunningham, 

Lord Baron Rossmore. 
1798-1800 William Charles Fortescue, Esq. 

Henry Westenra, Esq. 
William Fortescue, Esq., in 

place of Wm. C. Fortescue, 

who made his election for 

Co. Louth. 
Faithful Fortescue, Esq., in 

place of Wm. Fortescue, 

Gent, at large to the Lord 

Lieutenant. 



117 

APPENDIX II. 

Bishops of Clogher. 

Name. Date of 

Death. 

1. St. Macartia or MacCarthenn, Patron of the 

Diocese. 506 

2. St. Tigernac (Tierney), Abbot of Clones. 550 

3. St. Sinell. 

4. Deodeagha MacClairville, dedicated Inniskeen. 

5. Feidlimid (Phelim). 

6. St. Ultan, relative of St. MacCarthenn. 

7. Sethne. 

8. Earch. 

9. Eirglean. 

10. Cedach. 

11. Crimir Rodan. 

12. St. Laserian (Molaiser), Abbot of Devenish. 571 

13. Tigerna. 

14. Alti'o-erna. 

15. St. Enna or Endeus (son of Conail). 

16. Ronan (son of Ediduib), Patron of Aghalurcher. 

17. St. Aedan or Aidan, went to England in 635, 

and converted the people of Northumber- 
land. 651 

18. Maelcob or Maelcab, brother of Donald, and son 

of Edan, Ard Righ of Ireland. 640 

19. St. Adamnanus, called Legate of Ireland. 

20. Dianach. 

21. Altigren. 

22. St. Ciaran, son of Atuderman of Clonmacnoise. 

23. Conail. 

24. Airmeadac, author of a Life of St. Patrick. 

25. Faeldobar. 731 

26. Cunnacht. 

27. Maelmochair. 

28. Synach. 

29. Artgail (son of Darin). 

30. Cairbre I. 
.31. Mailduin. 



118 APPENDIX. 

Name. Date of 

Death. 

32. Dermot. 

33. Conaid I. 

34. Moraind. 

35. Dubroith. 

36. Ailil (called Scribe, Bishop, and Abbot of Clogher). 898 

37. Cairbre II. 

38. ^Engus. 

39. Caendfaelad or Cenfail (son of Lorcan), called 

Connorban of Clonmacnoise and Clogher, 

said to have been a saint. 929 

40. Conaid II. 

41. Tomultach. 

42. Cellagh. 

43. Muirgach. 

44. Odo O'Duigil. 

45. Mac-mail-iosa O'Cullean. 

46. Christian O'Morgair (brother of the great St. 

Malachy), highly spoken of by St. Bernard. 1138 

47. Edan O'Kelly, pupil of St. Malachy and conse- 

crated by him Bishop. 1182 

48. Maelisa O'Carroll, designed Archbishop of 

Armagh, but died on his way to Rome. 1184 

49. Christian (or Gilla-Christ) O'Macturan, Abbot 

of Clones. 1191 

50. Maelisa MacKiaran. 1195 

51. Tigernagh MacGilla-Ronan, an Augustinian Canon. 1218 

52. Donat O'Fidabra, translated to Armagh and 

died 1237. tr. 1227 

53. Nehemy O'Brogan. 1240 

54. David O'Brogan, brother of Nehemy ; during his 

Episcopacy Louth, Drogheda, and Dundalk 
were taken from Clogher and added to 
Armagh; and Ardsrath was added to Derry. 1267 

55. Michael M'Insair. The clergy of Clogher elected 

Reginald M'Gilla Finin, but the Primate 
appointed Michael M'Insair. 1286 

56. Matthew O'Clohesy, Chancellor of Armagh and 

elected unanimously by the clergy of Clogher. 1315 

57. Cornelius or Gelasy O'Banan, Comorban of St. 

Tigernac in Clones. 1319 



APPENDIX. 119 

Name. Date of 

Death. 

58. Nicholas O'Clohesy, elected when Archdeacon of 

Clogher. 1356 

59. Bernard or Bryan M'Camoeill, also Archdeacon 

of Clogher. 1361 

60. Matthew O'Clohesy, likewise Archdeacon of 

Clogher, nephew of 56th Bishop. 1365 

61. Hugh, or Odo, or Aodh O'Neill, Chancellor of 

Armagh. 1370 

62. John O'Corcoran, a Cistercian. 1389 

63. Arthur or Art M'Camoeill, a man of great learn- 

ing and previously Archdeacon of Clogher. 1432 

64. Peter Maguire, likewise Archdeacon of Clogher. res. 1449 

65. Roger, or Ross, or Rorey Maguire, son of the 

Prince of Fermanagh. 1483 

66. Edmond Courcey, a Minorite. The first English- 

man who ever held the See. Translated 

to diocese of Ross. 1494 

67. Nehemiah Clonin, a Benedictine. res. 1503 

68. Patrick Connolly, Abbot of Clones. 1504 

69. Eugene M'Camceil, Dean of Clogher. 1515 

70. Patrick Cullin, an Augustinian. 1534 
71.*Hugh O'Cervalin,. acknowledged supremacy of 

Henry VIII., but was never after acknow- 
ledged by the Priests and people of Clogher. 1546 

72. Raymond M'Mahon. 1560 

73. Cornelius, or Glashnias, or Neil Mercadell. 1568 

74. Cornelius or Glashnias M'Bardill. 1609 

75. Eugene, or Owen, or Oin Matthews (M'Mahon). tr. 1611 

76. Hebher or Eaver M'Mahon. 1650 

77. Philip Crolly. 1671 

78. Patrick Duffy. 1675 

79. Patrick Tyrrell. tr. 1707 

80. Hugh M'Mahon. tr. 1713 

* After O'Cervalin, the Pope appointed JRaymond M'Mahon, and 
while he was Bishop, Queen Elizabeth appointed the apostate Fran- 
ciscan, Miler M'Grath, but he finding no success amongst the 
Priests and people, was transferred to Cashel, and the Protestants 
never bothered about the See for about thirty-five years, when 
James I. brought over a Scotchman whom he made Bishop, and gave 
him a lot of property of which he robbed the Abbey of Clogher. 



120 APPENDIX. 

Name. Date of 

Death. 

81. Bernard M'Mahon. 1718 

82. Bernard or Bryan M'Mahon, afterwards Primate 

of Armagh. tr. 1738 

83. Ross M'Mahon, afterwards Primate of Armagh, tr. 1747 

84. Daniel O'Reilly. 1749 

85. Hugh O'Reilly. 1801 

86. James Murphy, buried in Tydavnet. 1824 

87. Edward Keirnan, buried in Magheross. 1844 

88. CharlesM'Nally, buried in St. M'Cartan's Cathedral. 1864 

89. James Donnelly, Do. Do. 1893 

90. Richard Owens, consecrated 26th August, 1894 



THE END. 



Printed by Edmund Bukke & Co., 61 & 62 Gt. Strand St., Dublin. 



ADVERTISEMENTS. 




Scottish Equitable 

(MUTUAL) 

LIFE ASSURANCE SOCIETY. 

ESTABLISHED 1831. 

Funds (1894), £3,612,821. Income, £447,778. 
Existing Assurances, £11 ,601,352. 

IMMEDIATE BONUS TABLE. 
VERY LOW PREMIUMS. 

SUM ASSURED ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEED. 

Examples of Premiums for Assurance of £100 under Immediate 

Bonus Table: 



Age not exceeding 


20 


25 


30 


35 


40 


45 


50 


60 


Yearly Premium 


£s. d 
1 12 


£s. d. 
1 14 6 


£s. d. 
1 13 i 


£s. d. 
2 4 5 


£ s. d. 
2 12 2 


£ s. d. 
3 2 6 


£ s. d. 
3 1510 


£s. d. 
5 19 3 



Under this table a person whose age is 30 next birthday can insure 
£1,300 on his life for the same premium which would be required for 
£1,000 under the ordinary with profit table, thus securing an 
Immediate Bonus of £300, with the right in addition to benefit by 
all future bonuses in excess of 25s. per cent. 

Unusually Low Premiums for Endowment 
Assur ances, with Pr ofits. 

Dublin Office :— 14 WESTMORELAND STREET. 

C. ROSS TODD, Secretary for Ireland. 
Agent -HENRY MERVYN, 



Manager, Belfast 



Bank, 
1 



MONAGHAN. 



ADVERTISEMENTS. 



THE STANDARD 
LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY, 

ESTABLISHED 1825. 



Accumulated Funds, - - £7,750,000, 



ADVANTAGES TO ASSURERS. 



Unquestionable Security. 

Moderate Premiums. 

F ree Whole World Residence. 



Immediate Payment of Claims. 
Fixed Surrender Values. 
Policies Unchallengeable 
after Two Years. 



N.B. — Mr. A. J. Wilson, Editor of the " Investors' Review," says : 
" Any man or woman who has any responsibility in life, or any one 
dependent upon him or her, is in duty bound to see that such depen- 
dent is not left destitute by his or her death." ..." It is peculiarly 
a parent's duty to protect his children, a husband his wife, a widow 
her orphans." ..." The best way to do this, and often the only way 
open, is by a Policy of Life Assurance." 



FORMS OF PROPOSAL and all information supplied on appli- 
cation to 

A. M'CARTNEY (Manager, Ulster Bank, Ltd.), 

AGENT AT MONAGHAN. 
Jan. 1895. 

ROYAL INSURANCE COMPANY. 



FIR E AND L IFE. 
Invested Funds, - - £8,000,000. 

ABSOLUTE SECURITY WITH MODERATE PREMIUMS. 



A M'CARTNEY (Manager, Ulster Bank, Ltd.), 

AGENT AT MONAGHAN. 
Jan. 1895. 2 



ADVERTISEMENTS. 



FOUNDED 1824. 



PATRIOTIC ASSURANCE CO., 

9 COLLEGE GREEN, DUBLIN. 



LIFE & FIRE. 



CAPITAL, £1,500,000. 

Invested Funds, - - Quarter of a Million. 



Prospectuses, Rates, and Full Particulas from 

LOUGHRAN & CO., AGENTS, MONAGHAN, 

OR, FROM THE 

Ulster Branch Office, 45 Donegall Place, Belfast. 

JOSEPH PYKE, District Manager. 

NORTHERN ASSURANCE COMPANY. 

LONDON. - - ABERDEEN- 

Established 1836. Funds (1893) £4,293,000. 
Irish Branch— 7 WESTMORELA ND ST., DUBLIN. 

Hocal Committee of JBtrectton : 

Sir Percy Raymond Grace, 

Bart., d.l., Chairman. 
Jas. Milo Burke, d.l., Esq. 
Wm. Joshua Goulding, Esq.,D.L. 



James Pirn. Esq. 

Right Hon. John Young, r.c., 

D.L. 

John Robertson, Secretary. 



IMPORTANT, 
FIRE. — Claims paid exceed £8,250,000. Surveys are made and 
rates quoted free of charge. Public, private, religious and 
scholastic institutions are insured from Is. 6d. per £100, 
and losses by lightning are made good whether the property 
insured be set on fire thereby or not. 

Full particulars and rates on application to 

Mr. HENRY W. MERVYN, Manager, Belfast Bank, 

MONAGHAN. 
3 



ADVERTISEMENTS. 




t. 



MONAGHAN. 



UNDER, THE IMMEDIATE PATRONAGE OF 

The Most Kev. Dr. Owens, Lord Bishop of Clogher. 



President:— REV. EDWAED MULIIERN. 
PROFESSORS : 



Rev. Edward Mulhern. 
Rev. Patrick Keown. 
Rev. Thomas O'Doherty. 



Rev. Bernard Maguire. 
Rev. Thomas Brannan. 



Brill Master: — Sergeant Instructor Kavanagh. 



This Seminary is situated on an elevated and healthful site, 
within a short distance of the Town of Monaghan. The recrea- 
tion grounds are very extensive, and every facility is afforded 
for outdoor amusements. Ample provision is also made for 
recreation in wet weather. The internal arrangements are 
specially made with a view to securing the health and comfort 
of the Students, and include a system of hot and cold water 
baths, constructed on the most improved plans. 

The course of Instruction embraces the English, Latin, 
Greek, French, and Italian Languages; Sacred and Profane 
History, Mathematics, Physical Science, etc. Students are 
specially prepared for the Intermediate Examinations. 

A competitive Examination for Free Places, tenable for two 
years, is held in the month of June each year. Candidates for 
this examination must be under 14 years of age. 

For Terms and further particulars, apply to 

REV. EDWARD MULHERN, 
President. 
4 



ADVERTISEMENTS. 



CONVENT OF ST. LOUIS, 

LOUISVILLE, MONAGHAN. 



UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF 

The Most Rev. Dr. Owens, Lord Bishop of Clogher. 



The course of Education comprises : — Religious Instruc- 
tion, Domestic Economy, Needlework, the English, French, 
Latin, German and Italian Languages ; Mathematics, Music, 
Singing, Drawing and Painting. 

The Health, Dietary, Deportment, and Manners of the 
Pupils are carefully attended to ; no efforts are spared to 
give the Young Ladies habits of order and neatness, that 
they may return to their families, not only accomplished, 
but helpful and intelligent in all the duties of woman's 
sphere. 

TERMS:— £20 per (annum) Scholastic Year. 

Use of Books and School Stationery, - 15s. the Term. 

Laundry, 16s. _,, 

Music, Singing, and Painting are extras, each £4 4s. 
per annum. The total successes of the above School at 
the Intermediate and Royal University Examinations have 
been 27 Senior, Middle and Junior Grade Exhibitions ; 
4 Gold and 10 Silver Medals ; 61 Prizes and 278 Passes. 

Terms payable in advance on 1st September, or 1st 
February (or day of Entrance) ; a Pupil can be admitted 
for the Half Term, which begins 15th November, and 15th 
April, respectively. Vacation begins the first week of July 
and ends on the 31st August; a charge of £4 each for 
Pupils who remain during vacation. 

5 



ADVERTISEMENTS. 



BRITISH SECTION AT PARIS EXHIBITION. 
THE HIGHEST AWARD TO 

CANTRELL & COCHRANE, 

MANUFACTURERS OF 

HIKEKAL WilTEiW. 

By Special Appointment to His Royal Highness THE PRINCE OF WALES. 



" CLUB SODA," THE &2gS£ E 0F 

G-ING-EE, ALB, "AKOMATIC " THE B S NAL 
" SPARKLING- MONTSERRAT " Sgg^gg E ^£5?2 

Royal Seltzer, Potass, Lithia Waters, Lemonade, etc. 

CLUB. 



CLUB. 
CLUB. 
CLUB. 
CLUB. 
CLUB. 



"CLUB SODA." 
"CLUB SODA." 

"CLUB KOLA." 
" CLUB KOLA." 

" CLUB ALE." 
" CLUB ALE." 



CANTRELL & COCHRANE were awarded a Gold Medal for all 
their products at Liverpool Exhibition, 1886. 

CANTRELL & COCHRANE are the only Manufacturers who 
were awarded a Medal for their products at Paris Exhibition, 1889, 
Gold Medal at Kingston Jamaica Exhibition, 1891, making a 
grand total of 

THIRTY-TWO GOLD AND PRIZE MEDALS AWARDED. 



LONDON DEPOT— 7 Woodstock St., Oxford St., W. 
GLASGOW DEPOT— 53 Surrey St. 

Works : BELFAST AND DUBLIN. 

6 



ADVERTISEMENTS. 



For the Oldest and Best Whisky 

IN 

MONAGHAN, 

As well as every other Article connected with a FiBST-CLASS 

Grocery and Wine Trade, 

Go To 

he Round ttouse 

{Opposite the Courthouse), 

CHURCH SQUARE. 

Give my 2s. 6d. TEA One Trial and you will use no other. 




B. M'KENNA. 



THE WESTENRA ARMS HOTEL 
AND THE TEMPERANCE HOTEL, MONAGHAN, 

Are Superintended by R. GREACEN", the Proprietor. 



The above Hotels are newly and handsomely furnished, 
and the intention is that a reputation for Attention, Comfort 
and Moderate Charges should be permanently earned. 

They have excellent Coffee, Commercial, Billiard, Smoke 
Rooms and Private Sitting Rooms. 

Arrangements can be made with parties wishing to 
board, on application to the Proprietor. 

The very choicest old Whiskies, from 20 years old to 10 
years, also some choice old Wines, are always to be had at 
Westenra Arms. A Bus to and from all trains, and posting 
in all its branches is carefully attended to. 



ADVERTISEMENTS. 



M. J. MALLEN, 

<£oal, garbfoar*, $robbfon, Spirit. %tib anb Itanuu Percent. 
Irish Hams and Bacon, my own cure. 

Funeral Orders supplied on very Reasonable Terms, and on Shortest Notice. 

Highly polished Oak, Stained and plain Deal Coffins, always in stock. 

Agent for O'Xeefe's Manures, Best in the Field. 

Fire Arms, Ammunition, Sporting and Blasting Powder. 

M. J. MALLEN, 

Dublin Street and Shambles Quay, MONAGHAN. 



FRANCIS TIERNEY, 

TEA, WINE, and SPIRIT MERCHANT, 

MONAGHAN, 

KEEPS IN STOCK ONLY HIGH -CLASS WINES AND LIQUORS. 

CLARETS of the Purest Quality imported direct from France. 

JOHN JAMESON &. SON'S S-YSAR OLD, a Speciality. 

GUINNESS'S XX. IN BOTTLE G UARANTEED PURE. 

TEAS of the BEST QUALITY at MODERATE PRICES. 

Orders for Posting receive prompt attention. 



ITCHELL & M'CALDIN, 

Family Grocers, Coal Merchants, 

Seedsmen and General Merchants, 
The Diam ond, MON AGHAN. 

Rich Cakes, Preserved Fruits, Raisins and Currants, Figs and 
Almonds, Candied Fruits, etc., in endless variety. 
SAUSAGES FRESH DAILY- 

TRY OUR FAMOUS 2/ TEA. 

Agents for the Best Manures. 

BERNARD KIERAN, 

LEATHER AND SPIRIT MERCHANT. 



BOOTS IN ENDLESS VARIETIES. 



PARK STREET, MONAGHAN. 

Agent for the famous Pikenix Brewery Co., James's Street, Dublin. 

8 



advertisp:ments. 



PETER MULLAN, 

AUCTIONEER, 

WINE AND SPIRIT MERCHANT, 

PARK STREET, MONAGHAN. 



PETER TIERNEY, 

WINE AND SPIRIT MERCHANT, 
&ucttonr£r anU Valuator, 

FUNERAL UNDERTAKER. 



POSTING IN ALL ITS BRANCHES. 



COMMERCIAL HOTEL, 

Dubliii Street, MONAGHAN. 

JOHN TRAINOR, EDWARD MADDEN, 

Market Street, Monaghan. Lakefield House, Rosslea. 

TRAIJVOR and MADDUX, 

Auctioneers, Valuators, & General Salesmen, 

MONAGHAN, EOSSLEA and CLONES. 



Bills Discounted. Cash Advanced. 



f 



OHN TrAINOR, 



laker, (grocer, fefettioiur anfr frobtsion; Slertjfant, 
Market Street, Monaghan. 

9 



ADVERTISEMENTS. 



JAMES MULLAN, Jun., 

©eneral ffitocft, 

TEA, WINE, and SPIRIT MERCHANT, 

MARKET STREET, MONAGHAN. 

Posting in all its Branches. 

S. BENSON, 

REGISTERED PLUMBER, 

HOT WATER and SANITARY ENGINEER, 

DUBLIN STREET, MONAGHAN. 

i^f^T'flldK gjsff) Co., 

The Cheapest and Best House in Town for 

illiiurg, Itantles, anft all sorts af feral §ragetg. 

The Noted House for Men's, Youths', and Boys' Ready-made 
Clothing. 

CHURCH SQUARE, MONAGHAN. 

JAMES M'GUIGAN, 

Letterpress Printer, MONAGHAN. 

PHOTOGRAVURES AND ZINCO BLOCKS PREPARED 

On Short Notice. Satisfaction guaranteed. 

WRITE FOR SAMPLES. 
10 



ADVERTISEMENTS. 



THE MEDICAL HALL, 

MONA6HAN, 

ESTABLISHED FOR THE DISPENSING OF 

PHYSICIANS' AND SURGEONS 1 PRESCRIPTIONS, 

the retail of DRUGS AND CHEMICALS, 

And the Sale of Medicinal Preparations, Surgical Appliances, and 

Toilet Requisites of every Description. 

Detailed List on Application. 

All Prescriptions compounded in this Establishment are carefully copied into a 
book kept for that purpose, and a number referring to the entry is marked upon the 
label attached to the medicine. When a repetition is required it is only necessary 
to send the box or bottle, with the Label on it, or a correct copy of the Number. 

As Prescriptions always require great care, and frequently much time in prepara- 
tion, it is particularly requested that all Orders be handed in as early in the day as 
possible. Country Orders punctually attended to, and Medicines despatched by first 
train or by Parcel Post to the more remote localities. 

&W It is scarcely necessary to say that none but the very best and purest Drugs 
and Chemicals, in the freshest condition possible, are ever employed in this Establish- 
ment — which enjoys an extensive patronage — and the public will please to observe 
that every article sold here bears the name and address: — 

T. KEOWN, Pharmaceutical Chemist, 

THE MEDICAL HALL, MONAGHAN. 

HENRY'S MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT, 
THE DIAMOND, MONAGHAN. 

For the accurate compounding of Physicians' Prescriptions from 
the purest Drugs and Chemicals. 

UP-TO-DATE CHEMISTS, 

we use every endeavour to give our customers WHAT THEY 
WANT, and the unsolicited testimony of those who have dealt with 
us for years past is our reward. 

SAMUEL R. HENRY, M.P.S.I., Proprietor. 
ESTABLISHED AD. 1889. 



an JJUNKIXS, 

The Diamond, RTONilGHil3Y, 

Best and Cheapest House in the North of Ireland for 

STATIONERY, FANCY GOODS, 

TOYS, MUSIC AL INSTRU MENTS, Etc. 

CHINA, GLASS, AND EARTHENWARE. 

Cutlery, Wall Paper, and Picture Framing. 

JEWELLERY, WATCHES, AND CLOCKS. 

11 



ADVERTISEMENTS. 



IE MABT CASH HOUSB, 

CHURCH SQUARE, MONAGHAN. 

These extensive Premises are replete with a Stock of Grocery and 
Provision Goods, General Ironmongery, Farm and Garden Seeds, etc., 
the quality of which will be found very superior at moderate prices. 

Wonderful Value in Teas at Is. 4d. and Is. 9d. per lb. 

THOMAS CONDELL, 

CHURCH SQUARE, MONAGHAN. 

IMPORTAN T PUBLI C NOTICE. 

The Subscriber wishes to inform the Public that he has opened a 

And is now prepared to supply MONUMENTS, CROSSES, HEAD- 
STONES, MURAL TABLETS, Etc., in Newest Designs. 

ALSO, 

Tomb Railings supplied & erected, & Old Tombs renovated & Lettered. 



Intending purchasers will consult their own interests by giving this Establishment 
a trial, as the Proprietor means selling at Low est Remunerative Prices. 

JOHN DELANEY, 

EMYVALE AND MONAGHAN. 



FEE BROTHERS, BALLYBAY, 

Are prepared to offer the Best Value in High-Class 

DRUGS, GROCERIES, STATIONERY, 
HARDWARE, PROVISIONS, ETC 

Family and Patent Medicines of the Best Quality in Great Variety. 



Agents for the Best Cycle Manufacturers in the three Kingdoms. 

A Trial Solicited. 

J. HOLLAND and 00., 

BALLYBAY, CO. MONAGHAN, 

Are the Largest Retail Tea Merchants in Ireland. 



Try our Celebrated 2s. 6d. Tea. 
12 



ADVERTISEMENTS. 



GENUINE A LL-WOOL IRIS H GOODS. 

A, C. DICKSON & SONS, 

Oreeve Valley Woollen Mills, BALLYBAY 

(MILL DEPOT— MAIN STREET, BALLYBAY.) 

TWEEDS — All pure wool, strong and heavy, at 2s. 6d. per yard. 
Very fine Saxony Tweeds, heavy, at 3s. 3d. ,, 
Extra heavy makes, at 3s. 6d. to 3s. od- ,, 
Any Length Cut. 

BLANKETS— Pure wool, 8 lbs., 16s. ; 9 lbs., 17s. 6d. 
FLANNELS— Pure wool, White, f wide, is. 3d. per yard. 

Red, is. 6d. per yard. 
SERGES — Gent's splendid fast-dyed heavy serge, 3s. iod., single width. 
IRISH FRIEZE — Pure wool, 52 inches wide, heavy, 5s. 6d. per yard. 

Patterns free on application. Carriage paid on all parcels. 
Full suit trimmings, from 5s. to 7s. 6d. 

All Customers Ordering SUIT LENGTHS within 28 days, allowed 3d. per yard 
off above prices. Terms — Cash with Order. Post Office and Postal Orders, Cheques, 
etc., payable at Ballybay to A. C. DICKSON & SOUS. 

Write early for samples and receive the above-offered benefit, and 

m- ENCOURA GE HOME INDUSTRIES. 

TO TRADESMEN— Contracts for all kinds of Woollen Goods entered into at 
lowest possible prices. 

Ladies' Costumes, Gentlemen's Suits, Blankets, etc, cleaned or dyed on the 
shortest notice. 



ROBERT DICKSON, 

General draper anir Ouiftttrr, 

BALLYBAY, 
Keeps always in Stock a Splendid Assortment of Fashion- 
able New Drapery Goods for the Different Seasons. 

Cheap Sales are held twice a year, and Great Reductions in 
prices are given in order to clear off after-season's goods. 

A Trial Solicited. 



ROBERT DICKSON, 
The Ready-Money House, Main Street. Ballybay. 

AUCT IONEE RING. 

SMYTH BROTHERS, BALLYBAY, 

Beg to inform the Public that they have taken out a Licence as 
AUCTIONEERS AND VALUATORS, and hope to conduct all 
Sales that they may be favoured with to the satisfaction of both 
Buyer and Seller. While thanking their Customers and the Public 
for the support accorded them for nearly twentj- }*ears, they expect 
to still further merit their patronage. All Sales entrusted to them 
will have prompt care, and accounts will be settled immediately. 

SMYTH BROS., BALLYBAY. 

13 



ADVERTISEMENTS. 



IS U 1 t V i C i t g, 

THOMAS KEITH, 

Electrical Engineer and Practical Coach Builder, 

BALLYBAY, 

Begs to state that he is in a position to supply and adjust Electric 
Bells in Churches, Orphanages, Banks and Private Houses, on Short 
Notice and Favourable Terms. 

His Croydons, Gigs, Cars, and other Machines are noted over the 
three kingdoms for Artistic Finish, Smooth* Running and Perfect 
Adjustment. 

JAMES FLEMING & CO., CLONES, 

ALWAYS KEEP A WELL-ASSORTED STOCK OF 



Their Clothing for Men and Boys, Ladies' Mantles, Millinery, 
' Dress Materials, and Dressmaking, supply variety, style, and value 
that cannot be beaten. They make no second price, deal honestly, 
and have stood the test of public opinion for over a quarter of a 
century. Still increasing in popularity, they solicit patronage and 
deserve it. 

Immense Stock of New, Fashionable, and Thoroughly Reliable 

DR APERY GO ODS. 

Clayton's Clerical Suitings always in Stock. 

A Large Stock of Millinery, Dress Materials and Ready-mades on 
hands. 

Extra Value in every Department at prices which must command 
special attention. All Goods marked in plain figures. 

The One-price System is stric tly adhered to. 

HUG H M A Gr U IRE, 
Diamond, CLONES. 

COLLBTT, DRAPER, 

AUGHNAC LOY AND ARMAGH. 

Specialties for Spring and Summer Gentlemen's Suitings, 
Coatings, Overcoatings, Trouserings, and Clerical Cloths. 
Ladies' Costumes, Jackets, Capes and Stylish Millinery. 

Suits made to Order. 
IRISH TWEEDS GIVE THE BEST WEAR. 



JAMES COLLETT, Aughnacloy and Armagh. 

14 



ADVERTISEMENTS. 



MACARDLE MOORE AND CO., LTD, 

. THE DTODALK BREWERY, DUIDiLK. 



GOLD MEDAL ALBS AND STOUTS. 



xlgints tillantrti. 



PATRICK Mt'lSEXXET, 

Auctioneer and Valuator, 
P.O. Address— Annyalla, Co. Monaghan, 

Conducts all Sales entrusted to him to the satisfaction 

of Buyer and Seller. 
Prompt Settlements— Satisfaction Guaranteed. 

BiUs Discounted. 



Attendance every Wednesday at Mes. Caeragher's, Castleblayney. 
and at Mr. Peter Mullen's, Ballybay, every Saturday. 



IRISH MANUFACTURED WAX CANDLES, 

FOR CH URCH PU RPOSES. 

Rolled <fe Stamped Pure "Wax Candles, 8s. per lb. 
Vegetable Wax, - - Is. and Is. 3d. „ 

Vegetable Oil of Finest Quality, 3s. 6d. and 4s. per Gal. 

PURE INCENSE, with ordinary care warranted to Burn without Flame. 

Prepared & Common Charcoal, Tapers, Floats, 8-Day Wicks & Glasses. 

Carriage Paid on Orders of £1 and upwards, free to nearest Railway Station. 

J. O'KEEFFE & CO., 10 & 11 Mary St., Dublin 

15 



ADVERTISEMENTS. 






SUPPORT HOME IN DUSTRY. 

CHARLES T. KELLY & CO., 

Importers of Corks and Corkwood. Manufacturers of Corks and 
Cork Floats, Corkwood for Fishing Purposes, 

library Street, BiDLF AST, and Og le Street, ARMAGH. 
Established over a Century. 

Late of DU BLIN and KING STOWN. 

IRISH HOME-GUT BURNT CORKS A SPECIALITY. 

Corks of any Di ameter or Len gth Cut to Order. 

CORK BATH MATS OF ALL SIZES. 

Contracts made zuith Large Buyers. 

LIST OF PRICES:- 
Wine Corks from 2s. 6d. to 6s. ... Per Gross. 

Spirit Corks (tapered quarts) from Is. 4d. to Is. 8d. 
Spirit Corks (tapered pints) from Is. to Is. 4d. 
Cork Bungs and Taps from 4s. to 10s. 
Soda Corks from lOd. to 2s. 
Ale Corks from Is. 2d. to Is. 8d. 
Porter Corks from 4d., 5d., 6d., 7d., 8d., 9d., to Is. 2d. 
Naggin and Half-pint Corks, 4d., 5d., 6d. 

Terms and Extended Price List on Application. 



Pianofortes, American Organs, 

AND 

Harmoniums. 



New, and Second Hand for Sale, and on Hire, 
Three Years' System. Long Terms. Liberal Discounts. 



W, TEMPEST, 

PRINTER, BOOKSELLER, AND STATIONER, 

DUNDALK. 

Agent for Ordnance Maps, Milner's Safes, etc. 

16 



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